Final people rescued from I-95 in Fredericksburg, efforts to reopen underway

Virginia

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC/WDVM) — The Virginia Department of Transportation announced at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday that there were no longer any people stuck on Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg.

Drivers were stuck on I-95 for upwards of 12 hours, with many sitting in their cars overnight in the freezing weather.

The latest VDOT update stated that less than 20 vehicles were left on the interstate. The cars will be towed and then snow plows will come through to remove all snow and ice from the interstate.

As the Virginia Department of Transportation worked to clear I-95 for drivers, police in other local jurisdictions were tasked with making sure other drivers did not take the ramps onto the interstate. 

The 40-mile stretch of the highway that was locked up was not pretreated before the snowstorm came in. Officials said that because the storm started with rain, any pretreatment would have washed off the road before the snow began falling. Still, hundreds of drivers found themselves stuck in the road for hours. 

VDOTwas unable to give an estimate of how many drivers were stuck on the roadway, due to widespread power outages, however it is known that there were at least one thousand disabled vehicles across the state. The good news from VDOT; no injuries, deaths or crashes were being reported, only stranded vehicles.

Michael Charles, a trucker who spent the night stuck on I-95 and was waiting through the afternoon for the highway to be cleared, said, “It is very frustrating because a lot of people were stuck out there, and I had to give people bottled water that I had in my truck. They had been stuck on the highway all night. It’s stressful, with kids in their car, too.”

Officials recognized that the conditions drivers found themselves in were unacceptable and apologized to drivers having to deal with the issues. 

It is after the snow removal that the stretch of interstate between Caroline County and Prince William County will be fully reopened.

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