National

Scenes from a traffic nightmare on I-95 in Virginia

Hundreds were stranded for as much as a day in freezing temperatures.

Drivers wait for the traffic to be cleared as cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95 Tuesday Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. AP Photo/Steve Helber

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Hundreds of people were stranded on Interstate 95 in freezing temperatures after a winter storm snarled traffic and left some drivers stuck in place for as much as a full day.

Kiara Davis (left) and Aja Brown walk up the southbound I-95 on-ramp toward Route 234 in Dumfries, Va. on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The two brought a cooler with beverages and snacks for anyone they may have found stranded on the highway. Hundreds of motorists waited desperately for help Tuesday after a winter storm snarled traffic in Virginia and left some drivers stranded for nearly 24 hours in freezing temperatures along an impassable stretch of interstate south of the nation’s capital. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP) – Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP

The problems began Monday morning when a truck jackknifed on I-95, triggering a chain reaction as other vehicles lost control, state police said.

Drivers look down the roadway as cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Eventually, lanes in both directions became blocked across a 40-mile stretch of the highway between Richmond and the nation’s capital at a time when snow was falling around 2 inches an hour.

Cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Hundreds of motorists spent the night in their vehicles, worrying about a lack of food, fuel, and water as temperatures fell into the teens. One family reported that they went more than 18 hours without eating.

A tow truck pulls a semi-tractor off of southbound I-95 and onto Route 234 in Dumfries, Va. on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Hundreds of motorists waited desperately for help Tuesday after a winter storm snarled traffic in Virginia and left some drivers stranded for nearly 24 hours in freezing temperatures along an impassable stretch of interstate south of the nation’s capital. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP)

There were no reports of serious injuries or deaths, but there was plenty of anger among drivers.

Workers remove cars and trucks stranded on sections of Interstate 95, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, near Quantico, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
This image provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation shows a closed section of Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Both northbound and southbound sections of the highway were closed due to snow and ice. (Virginia Department of Transportation via AP)

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