The nation’s capital was transformed into a gridlock nightmare after Washington D.C. saw the largest snowfall since 2019.
Hundreds of motorists came to a standstill after a crash on I-95, one of the busiest travel corridors in America.
Snowfall reports received as of 2 pm Monday. Highest totals by state so far:
VA – Glendie 14.6″
MD – Dunkirk 13″
NC – Swiss 11″
NJ – Northfield 10.3″
TN – Gatlinburg 9″
DE – Woodside 8.8″
Washington DC 8.5″
WV – Wayside 7.7″
KY – Rosspoint 4″
PA – Point Breeze 1.8″ pic.twitter.com/jpIctegDOP
— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) January 3, 2022
The chaos started Monday night when a crash involving 6 tractor-trailers left cars on both sides of the highway stranded – some for more than 24 hours.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says the state’s department of transportation has been distributing food and setting up warming shelters. But help for stranded drivers is taking an extraordinary amount of time. And while the National Guard is standing by, they still haven’t been called in to help.
More than 500 crashes were reported in Virginia alone.
Early Tuesday, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) tweeted his 2-hour commute to D.C. had turned into 19-hours, and also thanked strangers for passing out mandarin oranges to those who were trapped.
I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol. My office is in touch with @VaDOT to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation. Please stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/Sz1b1hZJZ5
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 4, 2022
Others used social media to vent their frustrations and simply pass the time. Some desperately tweeted for medicine left at home – while many reported running out of food while rationing gas. Many with children and pets were trapped as well.
— Kris (@pixiekriss) January 4, 2022
The National Guard should be deployed to I-95 in Virginia before someone dies. Everyone has to do better, this is utterly unacceptable and dangerous.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 4, 2022
At the three major airports in D.C., half of all flights were delayed or canceled, while more than 3,000 flights were grounded nationwide.
“I’m tired, drained, and ready to go home,” said one exhausted traveler waiting for her flight.
Across the country, nearly one million homes and businesses experienced power outages. Temperatures are now plunging as much as 15-20 degrees below average in some locations. And, two more rounds of snow could be on the way.
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) infrastructure integrity is once again being called into question.
Critics are reminiscing about the 2018, $11 million brief scheme where bids for snow removal work were rewarded to the highest cash bribes.
But, VDOT maintains the situation is unprecedented as they work to open up all lanes of traffic.