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Drivers stuck for hours on I-95 due to downed trees, disabled vehicles

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 08:14:27-05

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – As of 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, VDOT said that traffic is stopped on Interstate 95 southbound and northbound due to disabled vehicles and downed trees. Motorists are being asked to avoid the area until further notice.

VDOT crews are currently working to clear trees blocking lanes as well as disabled cars and trucks throughout the area.

Some drivers tell CBS 6 they've been stranded for over 10 hours, having to spend the night in their car.

Earlier on Monday, I-95 south in Stafford County reopened to traffic near exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) after an earlier crash had the interstate closed for hours.

Interstate 95 north in Stafford near exit 140 (Courthouse Road) was also cleared. However, a new crash at exit 133 (Route 17) in Stafford has again closed lanes at that location, according to VDOT.

"Motorists are urged to avoid I-95 in the Fredericksburg area due to significant congestion and to assist crews with clearance of existing vehicles," a VDOT spokesperson wrote. "Significant I-95 southbound congestion still exists approaching the scene of exit 136 (Centreport Parkway), and may take time for the queue of vehicles to be cleared even as lanes are open."

"We know many motorists have been stopped on I-95 for hours, and we're bringing resources to the scene as quickly as possible to reopen the interstate. We will reach everyone and reopen these lanes, and we will not stop until traffic is flowing again," said Marcie Parker, P.E., VDOT Fredericksburg District Engineer.

In response to the situation happening on I-95, Governor Ralph Northam's office issued this statement Tuesday morning:

The Governor’s office has been working throughout the night alongside the Virginia State Police (VSP), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to respond to this situation. State and local emergency personnel — with particular support from Spotsyvania, Stafford, Prince William County, Fredericksburg counties — are continuing to clear downed trees along I-95, assist disabled vehicles, and re-route drivers. Since midnight, VSP has responded to 1,016 traffic crashes and assisted 1,026 motorists. An emergency message is going to all stranded drivers connecting them to support, and the state is working with localities to open a warming shelter for passengers, as needed.

While sunlight is expected to help VDOT treat and clear roads, all Virginians must continue to avoid the interstate and follow directions of emergency personnel.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.