Officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation are working to assist cars that have been stranded on I-95.
Since Monday night, motorists have been asked to avoid the area as additional resources are sent to clear downed trees and disabled vehicles.
According to NBC, all southbound lanes of I-95 in Stafford county were shut down at a mile marker near Centreport Parkway after a crash involving six tractor-trailers happened earlier in the day. The area was cleared around 6 pm, and VDOT says there were no injuries.
About an hour later, the department cautioned drivers in the area as heavy snow continued to back up traffic on the highway near Rappahannock River.
Around 9 pm, drivers were stuck in both the northbound and southbound lanes in the Fredericksburg area. Virginia Police Officials say they are aware and working to reach people. The Virginia Department of trave says cameras in the area are down due to power outages, limiting their abilities to confirm crashes.
On Tuesday morning, around 5 a.m., VDOT crews started taking people off at available interchanges to get them from the 50-mile backup to help safely reach stranded motorists and get traffic moving, according to NBC12.
Some drivers reached out to NBC12, saying they have been stuck for over 15 hours with their children, pets and sleeping in their cars in the frigid temperatures.
After receiving several calls from viewers about their experience and expressing concern for their stranded loved ones, VLOD released a statement regarding the commotion.
“We know many travelers have been stuck on interstate 95 in our region for extraordinary periods of time over the past 24 hours, in some cases since Monday Morning. This is unprecedented, and we continue to steadily move stopped trucks to make progress toward restoring lanes,” said Marcie Parker, P.E. VDOT Fredericksburg District Engineer. “In addition to clearing the trucks, we are treating for snow and several inches of ice that has accumulated around them to ensure that when the lanes reopen, motorists can safely proceed to their destination.
The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, released a statement on Twitter regarding the ongoing gridlock on I-95.
“My team has been working throughout the night alongside @VSPPIO, VaDOT, and @VDEM, To respond to the situation on I-95,” the statement read. “State and local emergency personnel are continuing to clear downed trees, assist disabled vehicles, and re-route drivers.”
The National Weather Service warned that icy paths would be “especially problematic” on untreated roadways from Tennessee into Maryland following heavy wet rainfall during the holiday break.