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Motorists stranded for hours along I-95 after winter storm causes havoc and leaves more than 400,000 without power

(CNN)Drivers were stranded for hours connected a large interstate Monday nighttime aft a severe wintertime storm caused a monolithic backup — and authorities scrambled to wide a path.

“We privation we had a timetable, ETA oregon an educated conjecture connected erstwhile question volition resume connected I-95,” the Virginia Department of Transportation said connected Twitter, describing the concern arsenic frustrating and scary.

Motorists expressed their choler connected societal media arsenic they sat successful vehicles, incapable to determination and disquieted astir the falling somesthesia aft a tempest that dropped respective inches of snowfall crossed the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast and near much than 400,000 customers without power.

The conception of I-95 successful the Fredericksburg, Virginia, country was blocked by aggregate disabled vehicles and downed trees, VDOT said.

“As VDOT removes disabled vehicles, and plows/treats roadworthy to marque it harmless for transition arsenic they are removed, (Virginia State Police) troopers volition scope each driver,” VDOT said.

The Fredericksburg country received astatine slightest 14 inches of snowfall from the storm, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) successful the Baltimore/Washington area. Fredericksburg sits betwixt Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

An estimated 20 to 30 trucks were stuck connected I-95 northbound adjacent the Thornburg exit, according to VDOT, which said towing crews were connected the scene.

On the southbound side, stuck and disabled trucks were blocking postulation connected the interstate successful Stafford, VDOT reported.

CNN en Español Correspondent Gustavo Valdés was among those stuck successful traffic. He said erstwhile helium stopped for state astir 6 p.m., his GPS said helium was 2 hours from Washington. By 1 a.m. Tuesday, helium inactive hadn’t arrived.

Valdés said helium exited the road adjacent Quantico, Virginia, but the broadside roads were besides jammed. Route 1A, which runs parallel to I-95 successful the area, was blocked by jackknifed trucks, which were preventing snowplows from getting through.

Valdés said helium considered pulling to the broadside of the roadworthy to walk the nighttime successful his car due to the fact that helium couldn’t find an disposable edifice room, but postulation had started moving again.

Some four-wheel-drive vehicles helped make caller paths done the snowfall for different vehicles to follow, helium said.

While postulation was snarled connected the interstate, drivers were besides urged to enactment disconnected section roadways arsenic dozens of postulation signals were retired of work owed to powerfulness outages, officials said.

More than 400,000 customers were successful the acheronian Tuesday greeting from Georgia to Maryland, with astir 300,000 outages reported successful Virginia alone, according to PowerOutage.US.

Further northbound connected I-95, national authorities offices successful Washington, DC, are opening with a three-hour delay Tuesday aft being shuttered Monday owed to the weather. The territory recorded 8.5 inches of snowfall Monday, the heaviest one-day snowfall full since January 2016, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. Capitol Heights, Maryland, recorded 11.5 inches of snowfall and Baltimore/Washington International Airport reported 6.7 inches.

3 killed erstwhile SUV collided with snowplow, officials say

Three deaths were reported successful Maryland aft an SUV with 4 occupants collided with a snowplow, according to Shiera Goff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Police Department. Two women and 1 antheral were pronounced dormant astatine the scene, Goff said, and a 4th victim, a man, was taken to an country infirmary wherever helium is successful captious condition.

The probe into the origin of the collision is ongoing, Goff said.

In the Southeast, 2 children were killed by falling trees Monday morning, officials said.

In Georgia, a 5-year-old lad successful the Atlanta country died erstwhile a histrion fell connected his location during gusting winds, DeKalb County Fire Rescue spokesperson Capt. Jaeson Daniels told CNN affiliate WSB. The boy’s parent was safely rescued, the outlet reported.

The crushed successful the country was saturated by caller rainfall, Daniels told WSB. The NWS successful Atlanta warned of imaginable upwind gusts from 40-50 mph Monday morning.

And successful Tennessee, a 7-year-old miss died aboriginal Monday greeting erstwhile a histrion fell connected her location successful the Knoxville area, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office told CNN affiliate WVLT.

“There are trees down each implicit the county, peculiarly present successful Townsend, due to the fact that we are close astatine the foothills of the Great Smoky National Park,” BCSO Public Information Officer Marian O’Briant told WVLT. “There are a batch of trees; it was benignant of a bedewed dense snow, truthful trees are inactive falling close now.”

CNN has reached retired to DeKalb County Fire Rescue and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.

Winter upwind besides slowed question successful New Jersey, wherever authorities constabulary reported 160 accidents and 245 motorist requests for aid, according to Col. Patrick Callahan, the authorities constabulary superintendent.

In Atlantic City, 9.5 inches of snowfall was reported.

Southwestern New Jersey received betwixt 1 and 4 inches of snow, portion the southeastern portion of the authorities got determination betwixt 6 to 11 inches, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

CNN’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.

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