Many motorists were stranded for more than 24 hours in their vehicle on a highway in the northeast of the United States, before being finally released on Tuesday.

A winter storm blanketed the area with snow and caused many trees to fall.

An 86-kilometer stretch of the I-95 freeway, leading to the U.S. capital Washington, was closed on Tuesday as authorities scrambled to make lanes obstructed by tree trunks, immobilized trucks, piles of snow and more passable. patches of ice.

"There are no more stranded people," the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a tweet Tuesday evening, estimating that "fewer than 20 vehicles remained to be removed from the highway before the snow plows came. remove snow and ice from traffic lanes ”.

An aerial view of the drivers who have been stuck on I-95 in Virginia since Monday afternoon, with complaints of little food and water pic.twitter.com/ROHh3oY73o

- philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 4, 2022

40 km in twelve hours

"We have been stuck in this place for twelve hours," an American, Jeff, had told Tuesday morning on Instagram.

The wintry sun that replaced Monday's storm failed to deliver the trucks and cars stranded around it.

In the freezing night of Monday to Tuesday, he told between two trucks "to be stuck in the belly of the beast I-95" after having traveled 40 km in twelve hours.

"It's okay, we've got some food and water," Jeff told his followers.

The Democratic Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine, former running mate of Hillary Clinton in 2016, was also among the drivers stuck on this axis, considered one of the worst in the country in normal times.

His journey, which usually lasts two hours, this time took twenty-seven hours.

“Very happy to be back on Capitol Hill,” he tweeted upon arriving in Washington.

Ok after 27 hours on the road from Richmond to DC, very happy to be back in the Capitol and working on voting rights legislation this afternoon.

pic.twitter.com/6XE45ZQUvq

- Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 4, 2022

Affected families

"We slept in our car while it was freezing" by about -5 ° C, Kyle Oland, a father, said on Instagram on Tuesday, saying he was stranded "for almost 24 hours" on the highway with his wife and her two children.

The family was finally greeted in the middle of the night by a resident near the nearest exit, after a 5 km walk, but "we do not know when we can leave," he added.

Jim DeFede, a Florida-based CBS reporter, told Twitter that he himself had been stranded for more than twenty hours and had not seen a freeway employee or tow truck pass for twelve hours.

The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, had assured in a tweet that his teams had worked "all night" and continued their efforts to clear the highway and provide heated shelters to the castaways of the road.

The storm that hit the region on Monday deposited about twenty centimeters of snow, paralyzing the capital Washington and notably blocking President Joe Biden in his Air Force One plane for half an hour.

More than 200,000 homes remained without power in Virginia on Tuesday, as well as tens of thousands of others in the neighboring state of Maryland, according to the specialized site PowerOutage.

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