News to Know for Jan. 5: I-95 back open; Power outages update; Cloudy, warm

Traffic on the highway’s north and southbound lanes is back open after VDOT crews gave the...
Traffic on the highway’s north and southbound lanes is back open after VDOT crews gave the all-clear yesterday evening.(NBC12)
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:11 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:47 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The 30-hour nightmare on I-95 is finally over, but we’ll get into that in a moment. Here’s a look at our top headlines!

30-hour Nightmare

Thousands of drivers are finally back home after being stuck in a traffic nightmare on I-95 for more than 24 hours.

Traffic on the highway’s north and southbound lanes is back open after VDOT crews gave the all-clear yesterday evening.

Dozens of towing companies across Virginia, including Eagle Towing in Chesterfield gave VDOT crews the much-needed assistance.

Bruce Eagle says those who abandoned their cars in search of relief - your car has been towed, but not at your expense.

“There should be no cost to the vehicle owner whatsoever. I believe VDOT is taking care of everything as far as the cost of having the vehicles moved,” Eagle said.

If your vehicle was towed away and you need help finding it, VDOT says to call their customer service center at 1-800-367-7623.

What Took So Long

Following the traffic nightmare on I-95, there are so many questions about why so many were stranded for so long.

Many called on Governor Ralph Northam to deploy the national guard, but the governor responded saying the national guard is not a rapid response team.

“We knew this storm was coming. We advised people to stay off the roads and when we have these warnings people need to heed them to keep themselves safe,” Northam said.

Northam said a series of accidents, along with downed trees hampered the state’s response to those trapped.

What To Keep In Your Car

Items you need for your emergency vehicle kits
Items you need for your emergency vehicle kits(WBAY Staff)

The events that played out on I-95 may have you thinking about what you would do if you were in a similar situation.

We have some tips about what to keep in a car survival kit in case you ever get stuck.

According to triple-A, 40 percent of American drivers don’t have an emergency kit in their vehicles.

Triple-A recommends the kit include a first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, water, snacks, clothes, blankets, jumper cables, and a car charger for your phone.

If you drive an electric vehicle, remember that the cold can greatly reduce your charge, so make sure your car is fully charged before you go and know where the charging stations are along your route.

More Than 100,000 In the Dark

Those are the people across central Virginia who are still without power. Crews from out-of-state are currently helping to get the lights and heat back on.

People are staying in hotels, or with family and friends to stay warm.

For others - the struggle is worse.

Energy companies say it could be several days before the power is back on for everyone.

Blood Supply Low in Virginia

 (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

According to the American Red Cross, the blood supply in the Commonwealth is at a 10-year low.

First-time blood donors are down 41 percent statewide.

The Red Cross says it likes to have a 5-day supply of blood, but right now they have less than half a day supply - adding extra stress on the organization and hospitals.

To learn more about blood drivers happening in your area, click here.

Lending a Helping Hand

While the situation on I-95 was chaotic and stressful for everyone involved - we also saw strangers lending a helping hand to others.

A Chesterfield truck driver who was driving from Rhode Island to Georgia heated up a meal in the microwave of his truck and delivered it along with water for the car sitting next to him.

Jean-Carlo Gachet says he always keeps extra supplies in his cabs for emergency situations, and he was able to make it back on the road late yesterday afternoon.

Watch Out for Slick Spots

Today is another First Alert Weather Day for the morning commute with spotty light rain or freezing rain before sunrise.

We will be mostly cloudy with highs in the mid-40s, and lows in the 30s.

Final Thought

“Compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love that you’ve got.” —Cheryl Strayed.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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