RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds of drivers sat in their cars Monday and Tuesday after a winter storm and multiple jackknifed tractor-trailers made it impossible to continue traveling along Interstate 95 in the Fredericksburg area. After some drivers waited upwards of 24 hours to get off the interstate, Virginia’s response has been under heavy scrutiny.
When questioned about what went wrong during a Zoom interview with WRVA, Gov. Ralph Northam said he was “sick and tired” of that terminology being used, insisting that government agencies deserved to be thanked for their response after snow fall was more severe than expected. He went onto to question why drivers were on the highway during the storm to begin with.
WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, interviewed the governor on Thursday, Jan. 6 and asked him why he turned the blame for the I-95 shutdown onto the drivers. Northam walked back his previous comment, saying that this isn’t the time to blame anyone.
“We certainly don’t want to blame the drivers, again I feel sorry for folks who were stuck on the highways for hours,” Northam said.
According to the governor, many people suffered on the highway for hours and the Commonwealth wants to prepare the best they can for future winter weather.
When asked if the state should have done more to prepare, the governor said they need to take a hard look at the communications systems used to alert drivers.
“If they can prevent being out in those situations, that’s what we want to happen,” Northam said.