3 tractor-trailers jackknife in Union City, cause hours of delays on I-85 – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

3 tractor-trailers jackknife in Union City, cause hours of delays on I-85   The Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Tractor-trailer crash blocks Ga. 400 in Sandy Springs for 2 hours – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Tractor-trailer crash blocks Ga. 400 in Sandy Springs for 2 hours   The Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine arrives at Capitol after 27 hours trapped among hundreds in snowstorm traffic jam

Kaine was stranded with hundreds of others on Interstate 95 in Virginia.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine tweeted Tuesday that he was among the hundreds of people trapped overnight in a miles-long traffic jam on Interstate 95 in Virginia following a multi-vehicle accident Monday afternoon.

After nearly 27 grueling hours, Kaine announced that he finally made it to the Capitol.

“I did it — 26 hours and 45 minutes,” he told ABC News after arriving. “I am beat and I am very hungry.”

Kaine told ABC News he had one orange and one Dr. Pepper in the nearly 27 hours he was in the car and listened to Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius XM radio to stay awake

The Virginia Democrat tweeted that he’d started his usual commute to the Capitol at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon and 19 hours later, he and other Virginians were still stuck in the traffic backup following a heavy snowstorm.

“I was freezing,” Kaine told ABC News. “It was about 11 or 12 degrees last night and you can’t just run the car all night long sitting still or you run out of gas, which you need for the next morning, so you kind of have to run the car for 10 minutes to heat it up then turn it off for an hour and then it gets cold again.”

A crash involving six tractor-trailers was first reported by the Virginia Department of Transportation at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Since then, drivers were stranded across a 48-mile stretch of highway as authorities worked to clear the traffic.

The giant traffic jam came amid a snowstorm that shut down much of the Washington area, creating hazardous travel conditions.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted Tuesday morning that his team has worked throughout the night to respond. An emergency message has been sent out to drivers trying to connect them with assistance.

VDOT said on Twitter that Interstate 95 remained shut down and “travel is expected to remain hazardous for most of the day.” There were no more drivers stranded by Tuesday afternoon, but crews were still working to remove empty vehicles so plows could come through.

In an interview with a local Washington TV station Tuesday morning, Northam was pressed over a lack of preparedness for the storm and potential driving hazards.

“It’s one step at a time and, you know, what happened after midnight is we just turned into a, literally a skating rink and trucks were jackknifing,” Northam told Fox 5 DC. “And once that happens — once you get the backup — it’s very, very difficult to get in our resources and get our equipment in. So, we’re just we’re going from both ends, as fast as we can, and doing everything that we can.”

Northam said earlier Tuesday that state authorities were not sure how long it would take to clear the road, but “we will give updates as needed through the day and again, some of these things are difficult to predict but I can tell you that there are a lot of people, whether it be the state police or emergency management, or VDOT folks, they are working as hard as they can to get to people and to clear the roads.”

The National Guard is on standby to potentially assist, but Northam said the problem right now is getting available resources where they need to go.

ABC News’ Davone Morales and Libby Cathey contributed to this report.

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Drivers stranded on I-95 for more than 24 hours

State transportation officials have not responded to multiple requests for comment from NBC News on Tuesday.

Seb Lancaster, a 21-year-old film and television student at Boston University, was on his way to visit his father in Connecticut with his twin sister, her boyfriend and his dog when they got on the interstate and found themselves stuck, forcing them to spend the night trapped in a frigid vehicle.

“My parents are immunocompromised and I assumed road travel would be safer than omicron flights,” he said, referring to the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant.

He was frustrated with what he described as the lack of communication and vague statements coming from VDOT.

“I’m 2 and a half hours ‘on hold’ to speak to a representative for any information,” Lancaster said. “I’ve seen one emergency worker … who when asked for information said, ‘Does it look like I know?'”

“Well, I’d hope you’d know, officer,” Lancaster said.

Lancaster said he entered the traffic jam just after 3 p.m. on Monday, when there was “a little movement for awhile,” allowing drivers to edge forward.

However, around 11 p.m., he said traffic came to a “standstill,” leaving him and his passengers trapped in their vehicle in the hours since.

Like a scene from ‘La La Land’

“Just after midnight, the street was packed like the flash mob in ‘La La Land,'” he said, referring to the opening scene from the hit film starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling when trapped motorists exited their cars for a joyful performance of “Another Day of Sun.”

“Though it was much grimmer,” he said, “with people crying, smoking, walking their kids [and] pets, and begging for supplies.”

“Cars are stuck, trees are down, there are miles of parked cars scattered unevenly around the massive ice heaps to avoid getting stuck-stuck, making it impossible for any real emergency effort to reach us,” he said in Twitter messages as his sibling and her partner slept.

Another motorist, Anne Gould, told NBC Washington early Tuesday morning, “There’s cars and trucks as far as I can see behind me, and in front of me, and it’s looked like this for 12 hours.”

Gould was on her annual trek to Florida when traffic stopped Monday afternoon. She told the news station she had only moved a few car lengths by Tuesday at about 6:20 a.m.

A tree lies across Scotchtown Road in Hanover County, Va., during a snowstorm on Monday.Alexa Welch Edlund / Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

While some motorists abandoned their vehicles, others faced a dire situation as they ran out of gas and had no access to food or water.

Some also warned that they had kids and pets in their vehicles, as they struggled to make it through the storm, NBC Washington reported.

The chaos unfolded when all southbound lanes of I-95 were shut down at mile marker 136 near Centreport Parkway after at least six big-rigs were involved in a crash before 9 a.m., the transportation department said.

At about the same time “multiple disabled tractor trailers” shut down all but one northbound lane, it tweeted.

No one was hurt in the incident, but the collision sparked delays, with VDOT later warning that heavy snow continued to back up traffic.

In a statement published on Twitter around 8:40 p.m., the department’s Fredericksburg arm described the situation as “frustrating & scary.”

“We wish we had a timetable, ETA or an educated guess on when travel will resume on I-95,” it said. “It’s at a standstill in our area with multiple incidents. Its frustrating & scary.”

“Please know our crews don’t stop. Crews will work 24/7 until ALL state-maintained roads are safe for travel,” it added.

By early Tuesday morning, VDOT Fredericksburg said crews were “mobilizing now to start taking people stopped on interstate off nearby interchanges to bring them to alternate routes.”

VDOT said snowplows and tow trucks were on the scene, adding that motorists should plan to avoid travel on the interstate “until lanes reopen and significant congestion clears the area.”

Liz Blasso, who estimated that she got stuck around 6:30 p.m. while traveling from Pennsylvania to North Carolina on Monday, expressed in her Instagram stories that she was frustrated with VDOT’s slow updates.

She said late Tuesday morning that she had moved about 8 miles since the night before.

“I had to use a cup to go to the bathroom in my car. I haven’t had any water or caffeine and I’ve been awake for 36 hours or so,” Blasso said. She wasn’t able to take medications she’s supposed to take at night because they make her drowsy.

“I’m not with anybody so I couldn’t really fall asleep,” she said.

Blasso eventually made it to an exit where she pulled off and took refuge in an empty motel parking lot.

NBC News correspondent Josh Lederman also got stuck on I-95, with his pet dog in the back seat.

“I try not to tweet about daily inconveniences, but this experience has been insane,” he tweeted.

A major winter storm hitting the Northern Virginia area cripples traffic at the start of the workweek in the new year on Monday in Alexandria, Va.mpi34 / MediaPunch/ AP

“For the last 7+ hours, I’ve been stuck in my car, not moving, in a total shutdown of I-95 northbound about 30 miles south of DC,” Lederman said.

“The interstate is absolutely littered with disabled vehicles. Not just cars. Semis, everything. Nobody can move. People are running out of gas or abandoning vehicles,” he said in a separate tweet.

Later, he told NBC’s “TODAY” show that he had made it back home safely after what he described as a “crazy night.” 

“We were lucky. We had enough gas to make it through without losing power to the car. We were OK without having water and food, but this was a scary situation,” Lederman said.

“I think people expect, given the weather that we were having here, that you might face some delays on the road,” he said. “People were not anticipating, at least I certainly was not, that they would have to be spending the entire night waiting to see if anybody was going to come and clear the road so that people would be able to get out.”

“You don’t expect to be making calculations about, all right, do I have enough water to get me through before I get into a kind of trouble situation,” he said. “Do I have enough gas in my car that’s sitting idle on this highway? [Can it] stay running overnight and keep me warm?”

‘I’m afraid to sleep’

Lancaster said he tried calling VDOT himself, but he said he was left “on hold” for two hours.

Before that, he said he kept trying to reassure his sister and her partner that “help will be here soon.”

“And it was like 4 a.m. when I suddenly realized help wasn’t coming,” he said.

“I’m afraid to sleep, and afraid to stay up and see what happens,” Lancaster added.

Drivers have been stranded for nearly 16 hours on I-95 in Virginia after a winter storm brought travel chaos and power outages.
Seb Lancaster

When traffic does start moving, he said he is also nervous about the prospect of having to drive on icy roads.

“With the traffic jam starting during the snowstorm, the road below us was never (and has yet to be) salted,” Lancaster said. “I’m from Florida, and have never driven on ice before … so really anxious about what’s next.”

“[I] am genuinely terrified,” he added.

The National Weather Service warned that icy patches could be “especially problematic” on untreated roadways from Tennessee into Maryland following heavy and wet snowfall. 

As drivers found themselves trapped on the interstate, residents also faced sweeping power outages that saw more than 400,000 customers from Georgia to Maryland without power by Tuesday morning, according to PowerOutage.US.

Nearly 300,000 of those outages were reported in Virginia alone.

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Drivers trapped on I-95 for hours; avoid the interstate

If you don’t want to end up in a nightmare situation, avoid Interstate 95 in Virginia. Thousands are trapped in stopped traffic and have been since Monday when the biggest snowstorm since 2016 rolled through the region.

What Interstate 95 looks like on Tuesday morning with drivers trapped for hours. (Courtesy NBC Washington)

Have you or someone you know been stuck on I-95? Tell WTOP about your experiences.

Listen to WTOP live online and on the radio at 103.5 FM. Download the free WTOP News app for Android and Apple phones to sign up for custom traffic and weather alerts.

If you don’t want to end up in a nightmare situation, avoid Interstate 95 in Virginia.

A horrendous traffic jam that began during Monday morning’s winter storm has grown steadily worse with plummeting overnight temperatures causing melting snow to refreeze. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the WTOP Traffic Center was following at least four trouble spots on I-95 alone from spinouts in icy conditions, each involving multiple spinouts including tractor trailers.

I-95 remains closed both ways from Dumfries (Exit 152) to Carmel Church (Exit 104) in the Fredericksburg area. Callers on Tuesday reported crews in the Quantico area were finally letting traffic inch past crashed trucks — only to run into another blockage down the road.

Hundreds of vehicles, carrying thousands of people, are still stranded. Some have reported been at a standstill for over 16 hours, shutting off their engines in frigid weather to conserve dwindling fuel.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has plans to guide vehicles currently stopped on the interstate to nearby interchanges, where they can access alternate routes. VDOT and Gov. Ralph Northam were slow to return requests for updates on Tuesday morning.

“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,” Northam’s office said in a statement. “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.”

WTOP traffic reporter Dave Dildine called the crisis a worst-case scenario.

“Some people were seen abandoning their vehicles in snow-covered travel lanes, walking down I-95 to parts unknown,” Dildine said. “Some callers were sobbing and scared. Psychologically is it extremely distressing to be motionless on a highway for hours on end without knowing how much longer it will last.”

Road closures across the region


  • I-95 in Garrisonville: Southbound traffic stopped between VA-610/Garrisonville Road (Exit 143) and VA-8900/Centreport Parkway (Exit 136) due to multiple crashes and disabled vehicles.
  • I-95 in Woodford: Northbound traffic stopped between VA-639/Ladysmith (Exit 110) and VA-606/Thornburg (Exit 118) due to multiple disabled trucks and tractor-trailers.
  • I-95 in Stafford: Northbound traffic stopped between VA-610/Garrisonville Road (Exit 143) and VA-619/Triangle (Exit 150) due to multiple crashes and disabled vehicles.
  • US-17 in Hartwood: Closed north of VA-612/Hartwood Road due to a crash involving multiple tractor-trailers.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Submit traffic tips by calling 866-304-WTOP or tagging @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

Regional officials promised major highways had been pretreated and fleets of plows made ready to roll out before Monday’s storms. But snowfall rates of up to 3 1/2 inches per hour and a high volume of traffic made for a perfect storm rivaling other notorious travel disasters in recent memory.

Trapped commuters on I-95 ran out of gas with kids and pets in their car. Some drivers were forced to spend the overnight on the highway with no bathrooms nearby and temperatures plunging into the low 20s.

“We’ve been parked here for five hours south of Quantico,” Claire Hughes, a commuter on I-95, told WTOP. “We have seen no tow trucks, no broken down vehicles, no police trying to open lanes up. It’s just a standstill parking lot, it’s atrocious.”

NBC News correspondent Josh Lederman found himself in a traffic jam about half an hour south of the District on Monday afternoon. As of around daybreak on Tuesday, he still hadn’t budged. In a Twitter thread, Lederman said people were taking exercise breaks and walking their dogs between derelict vehicles.

Like thousands of others, Lederman — accompanied by his dog Jonas — spent the cold night on the interstate nervously eyeing the fuel gauge, going hours without seeing police or plows. Lederman melted snow for his dog to drink.

“I have some gum and about a third of a bottle of water. If things get really bad, I’ve got food for my dog, but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that,” Lederman told WTOP by phone. “If you were in an emergency right now, there is absolutely no way anybody could get to you for something medical or otherwise. People who are here are just stuck.”

Dildine explained that the paralysis was caused by heavy snow and too many cars for road conditions to sustain.

“The heavy burst of snow Monday morning set off a chain reaction of truck crashes and stalled vehicles,” Dildine said. “As traffic initially lurched to a stop, snow rapidly piled up between vehicles. With plows unable to reach the snow-covered mainline, more drivers began spinning their wheels and the severity of the bottlenecks continued to worsen.”

VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon said late Monday that crews are concentrating their efforts on clearing blocked trucks and treating road surfaces for several inches of snow and ice accumulation.

“We know this has been unprecedented and people have been stuck for prolonged periods and we remain at work through the night to get things moving again,” Hannon said. “We certainly understand and empathize with the distress that so many people are going through, and again, our whole mission is to keep traffic moving.”

WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher, Matt Small and Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

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Within just hours of the new year, Maui police report 2 separate traffic fatalities

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Maui Police Department is investigating two separate traffic fatalities that occurred within just hours of 2022.

Authorities said it responded to a crash on Honoapiilani Highway north of Kekaa Drive at around 12:10 a.m. on Saturday.

Officials said a man driving a motorcycle at high speed lost control and was ejected onto the roadway, sliding into the northbound lanes of traffic. That’s when he was struck by an SUV.

Police said the 51-year-old man from Lahaina died at the scene.

The driver and three passengers of the SUV did not sustain any injuries from the collision.

Maui police also responded to a crash in Wailuku at 1:45 a.m. on Kehalani Mauka Parkway.

Officials said preliminary investigation reveals that the moped driver was traveling northwest when he lost control and collided into the raised curbing multiple time. He was ejected onto the roadway.

Police said the 32-year-old rider died at the scene.

MPD said in both incidents neither of the victims were wearing helmets.

Both crashes remain under investigation.

These are the first two traffic fatalities for Maui County this year, compared to none at the same time last year.

This story may be updated.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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Airport workers put in extra hours during record travel numbers

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s the busiest travel day of the season and airport workers are putting in overtime to make sure people can get home for the holidays.

There will be a bunch of wheelchairs, feels like I’m working by myself sometimes, and I’m like doubling back, tripling back,” said Tampa airport contractor Anthony Sanders.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) expects 65-75,000 passengers to pass through each day during this holiday season, breaking pre-pandemic travel records. That’s just thousands of the 110 million people AAA predicts will travel across the U.S.

RELATED: Tampa International Airport reports record-breaking passenger numbers amid new COVID-19 surge

In fact, the airport is seeing passenger numbers 8-9% higher than the average of other airports across the country.

But when you look around, you see a lot of staff like Sanders working during the holidays.

Airlines took a hit during the pandemic and as people began traveling again, airports in general still haven’t been able to fully re-staff.

Sanders is a Tampa resident who is contracted by a company outside of TPA to assist elderly and handicapped passengers in wheelchairs. He was laid off for three months during the pandemic and with the cost of living in Tampa, he was facing homelessness, living out of hotels.

Now that he’s been back to work, he’s working overtime for the holidays — six days a week, eight or more hours a day and his pay is $6.98 an hour, so he relies on tips.

The minimum wage in Florida is $10 an hour, so similar to a restaurant employee, tips get him to the legal minimum wage.

“When I got rehired I mean, it was still like, you know, it wasn’t as busy as it is now. It was still like I wouldn’t you know, ‘cause I rely on my tip money and I wasn’t really — I was probably making maybe $30 a day in tips, and then, you know, we have to report our tips,” Sanders explained. “We weren’t making any money. I slept in hotels. It was very hard, very hard.”

Sanders will be working Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years, and his birthday on January 2.

We’re very short, we’re very understaffed, and we, you know, we do our best. I do my best. Every time I’m here, I do my best to assist people, I go beyond and above for the people here and they do, they do you know, they do appreciate you back,” Sanders said.

He is also part of SEIU 32BJ, a union advocating for airport workers to get higher wages and safer working conditions.

If you’re one of the millions of people flying this holiday season, remember two things: get there early and workers like Sanders, who rely on tips.

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Arrive to airport 3 hours before for domestic flights

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – More travelers are returning to the skies. The holiday travel season started at Miami International Airport and at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

Travelers with domestic flights need to arrive at least three hours before and at least three hours and 30 minutes for foreign flights, said Jack Varela, a spokesman for MIA.

The airport’s parking was full by Monday afternoon, according to Jack Varela. He suggested travelers get a ride to the airport, wear easily removable shoes, and check in online.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden’s administration activated a requirement for all inbound U.S. travelers to show negative COVID test results the day before departure.

Fliers also need to check the entry requirements for their destination. For more information about testing and vaccination locations in South Florida, visit this page.


Related story: Florida COVID surge: 18,000+ new cases from weekend as omicron spreads

More about omicron

Since it is more contagious than delta, epidemiologists expect omicron to become the dominant variant by early next year in the U.S.

Researchers at the University of Miami Health lab said it already makes up for the majority of the cases in Miami-Dade County.

There is plenty of uncertainty since it is unclear if omicron causes a more severe disease than delta.

Scientists do know unvaccinated Americans face a higher risk. Research shows the Moderna and Pfizer booster shot offers protection against omicron.

Related story: While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in South Florida, ICU populations are not


Jack Varela, a spokesman at Miami International Airport, is asking fliers to arrive to the airport at least 3 hours before their domestic flights.

Copyright 2021 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.

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Tipoff for UCLA-Marquette basketball game pushed back seven hours due to aircraft issue

MILWAUKEE — No. 4 UCLA‘s scheduled game Saturday at Marquettehas been pushed back seven hours due to an issue with the Bruins’ aircraft that forced a change in travel plans.

Both schools announced late Friday night via Twitterthat the game will take place Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET. The game originally was scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m.

Neither school provided any specifics regarding the issue with the aircraft.

The game will air on FS2. The game originally was scheduled to be broadcast on Fox.

Copyright © 2021 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

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Tip-off for UCLA-Marquette basketball game pushed back seven hours due to aircraft issue

MILWAUKEE — No. 4 UCLA’s scheduled game Saturday at Marquette has been pushed back seven hours due to an issue with the Bruins’ aircraft that forced a change in travel plans.

Both schools announced late Friday night via Twitterthat the game will take place Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The game originally was scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m.

Neither school provided any specifics regarding the issue with the aircraft.

The game will air on FS2. The game originally was scheduled to be broadcast on Fox.

Copyright © 2021 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

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