Many motorists remained blocked for more than 24 hours on a highway in the northeastern United States until they were finally released yesterday, Tuesday, January 4, with the clearing of the lanes, after a winter storm covered the region with snow and, in addition , it will cause the fall of many trees.
On Tuesday, an 86-kilometer stretch of the I-95 highway, which leads to the capital, Washington, was closed and authorities tried to clear lanes obstructed by tree trunks, immobilized trucks, snow and ice sheets to make them passable to vehicles.
“There are no more people trapped,” reported the Virginia Department of Transportation in a post on its Twitter account and estimated that “there were less than 20 vehicles to remove from the road” before clearing the road.
“We’ve been stuck in this place for 24 hours,” Jeff, an American, said on his Instagram account Tuesday morning. “Okay, we have some food and water,” he told his followers.
Democratic Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s former running mate when she ran for president in 2016, was one of the drivers left stranded at the scene.
“I started my journey (to Washington), which normally takes me two hours, yesterday at 1:00 p.m. Nineteen hours later I am still far from the Capitol (seat of Congress, in Washington) ”, he also expressed on Twitter with a photo of his car blocked behind three trucks.
“We slept in our car while it was really cold” in a -5 ° C temperature, said Kyle Oland, another Instagram user who spent “almost 24 hours” stranded on the road with his wife and two children.
The family was finally welcomed in the middle of the night by a neighbor near the nearest exit, after a 5 km walk. “We don’t know when we can leave,” he added.
Jim DeFede, a reporter for the CBS network based in Florida (southeast), said on his Twitter account that he himself had been stranded for more than 20 hours and had not seen a single highway employee or a tow truck pass during 12 hours.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had informed the media that his crews were working “through the night” and were continuing their efforts to clear the road and provide heated shelters for those stranded on the road.
The storm that hit the region left a blanket of snow of about 20 centimeters and paralyzed Washington. The president of USA Joe Biden, he was blocked for half an hour on the Air Force One plane.
Almost 200,000 homes were still without power on Tuesday in Virginia, and tens of thousands more in neighboring Maryland, according to the specialized site Power Outage.