- 15:40 ET, Jan 4 2022
- Updated: 15:48 ET, Jan 4 2022
SEVERE weather in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia has killed five people so far, with strong winds felling trees and an enormous snowstorm leaving hundreds stranded in their homes or on the road.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, where some areas saw more than a foot of snow, a snowplow collided with an SUV on Columbia Pike, killing three.
A fourth person was reportedly hospitalized following the accident.
Children in Tennessee and Georgia were killed by trees that fell onto their homes.
The winter storm brought heavy snow to Townsend, Tennessee, where a tree fell onto a vacation rental home near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, killing a seven-year-old girl.
In DeKalb County, Georgia, a five-year-old boy was killed when strong winds knocked a tree onto the center of his home.
He was named on Tuesday as Zachariah Jackson.
The property was effectively “split in half,” according to Fire Captain Jaeson Daniels.
The Atlanta area recorded more than six inches of rainfall in December, and wind gusts up to 44mph were recorded overnight during the storm, as snow and wintry mix blasted over the region.
In Maryland, salt truck drivers were left stranded on the eastbound Route 50 on highway I-97 when a trailer jack-knifed.
Federal worker Shawn Devroude, 52, told the Associated Press: “It was balmy and foggy yesterday and then six inches of snow this morning, not even 12 hours later.”
Temperatures plunged to 13F in parts of Virginia, where cars and trucks remained gridlocked on Interstate 95 for more than 24 hours after multiple tractor-trailers jackknifed or crashed, blocking exits.
The heavy snow made rescue attempts along the 50-mile stretch impossible, and the slippery roads were impassable on foot.
Stranded motorists were trapped in huge traffic jams, some left without heat as they were forced to turn off their car engines to save fuel, WTOP reports.
One person told the outlet that they had been stuck on the interstate with their three kids, including a baby.
Senator Tim Kaine said he was stuck on the interstate for over 24 hours while heading to Washington DC; the Senator has still not confirmed that he has safely exited the Interstate.
Off the highways, around 400,000 people were left without power.
Around 12 inches of snow fell in Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg saw around 14 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri warned that it could take weeks for the snow to melt.
Javaheri said the white layer of snow reflects sunlight and prevents the ground from warming enough to melt it.
The meteorologist warned that it takes around three days of temperatures above 50F for 2-4 inches of snow to melt.
Virginia i95 weather news – Hundreds of ‘scared’ drivers left stranded for more than 15 hours in severe snow storm
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