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News to Know for Jan. 4: I-95 backup; power outages; Cold, sunny

The majority of the outages were in Henrico, Goochland, and Richmond.
The majority of the outages were in Henrico, Goochland, and Richmond.(WWBT)
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 6:21 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 6:37 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The winter weather has made its way out of Virginia! If you’re enjoying an extra day off or getting ready for your morning commute here’s a look at some of our top headlines!

I-95 Backup

Traffic has been an absolute nightmare! All because of yesterday’s winter weather. There have been backups for miles in both directions on the interstate between Richmond and Washington.

We’ve learned that some people have been stuck on the highway for more than 12 hours, and others say they’ve been stranded for as long as 17 hours.

VDOT says crews are doing the best they can to help clear stuck and disabled vehicles, as well as plow and treat the roads.

It is unknown how long it will take for travel to resume.

VDOT released a statement on Twitter saying crews will start taking people off at any available interchange to get to them. For the southbound queue 143 (Garrisonville) and 140 (Courthouse) and northbound at exit 104 and exit 110. NB is 104 (Carmel Church) and 110 is Ladysmith.

Power Outages

Have thousands of people across central Virginia waking up without power.

The majority of the outages were in Henrico, Goochland, and Richmond. Dominion Energy says as many as 380,000 customers were knocked offline at some point due to the storm.

However, Rappahannock Electric customers have been hit the hardest. Customers could be without power throughout the week.

REC took a direct hit - with power knocked out to 90,000 of its customers at one point.

Right now, major areas still in the dark are Spotsylvania, Hanover, Caroline, and Louisa counties.

Spotsylvania County is opening a warming center due to the extensive power outages.

The shelter opened at 10:00 p.m. last night at the Spotsylvania County Public Schools maintenance facility located at 8720 Courthouse Road.

911 is Down

Generic image of calling 911
Generic image of calling 911(WMTV)

In Hanover County residents are being informed that in order to make a 911 they must use a cellphone.

The county says that landlines are not working, and this will impact residents living in the Montpelier and Beaverdam areas.

FDA Approves Booster Shots

For children ages 12 to 15. This move comes as schools begin to reopen after the holiday break, and as the Omicron variant surges throughout the United States.

The CDC is expected to sign off on the changes later this week. This means that a shot could be available in Virginia by the end of the week.

The state estimates that more than 422,000 children fall into that age group that would be eligible for a Pfizer booster if they’re five months out from their first set of shots.

VCU Health Pauses Non-urgent Surgeries

VCU Health
VCU Health(NBC12)

This decision came yesterday and means that the hospital will be pausing non-urgent surgeries and procedures that require a hospital bed effective immediately.

In a release, VCU says impacted patients will be contacted and the move comes in an effort to protect patients and the slow spread of COVID-19.

Emergency departments will remain open and essential and urgent surgeries will continue.

BE CAREFUL

Today is another First Alert Weather Day for an icy commute in the morning.

Temperatures in the morning will be in the low teens - meaning ice/snow is still on untreated surfaces.

Today will be sunny and cold with highs in the mid-30s.

Final Thought

“To lose patience is to lose the battle.” --- Mahatma Gandhi

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