Hundreds of drivers have been stranded on the I-95 in northern Virginia for hours Tuesday morning after the region was slammed with a major snowstorm—prompting some people to turn off their engines or even abandon their vehicles to look for shelter, according to a report.
WTOP reported that some drivers have been in their cars for over 15 hours.
"Some callers were sobbing and scared," Dave Dildine, a traffic reporter for the station, said. "Psychologically it is extremely distressing to be motionless on a highway for hours on end without knowing how much longer it will last."
Snow spotters for the National Weather Service reported accumulations of 11.5 inches in the D.C. suburb of Capitol Heights, Maryland, and 10 inches in Rose Hill, Virginia, by the time the storm wound down Monday afternoon.
With temperatures in the teens forecast for overnight, Virginia State Police warned that any snow that melted during the day is expected to freeze, causing icy and dangerous road conditions.
Reports said that as of 5 a.m. Tuesday, that the southbound lanes of the interstate near mile marker 136 remained at a standstill.
"I’ve never seen anything like it," Emily Clementson, a truck driver, told NBC Washington.
The Virginia Department of Transportation tweeted to the stranded drivers late Monday and assured them that work was being done to get them moving again.
"We wish we had a timetable, ETA or an educated guess on when travel will resume on I-95. It's at a standstill in our area with multiple incidents," the tweet read. "Its frustrating & scary. Please know our crews don't stop. Crews will work 24/7 until ALL state-maintained roads are safe for travel."
The Associated Press contributed to this report