The Great I95 Fail

Jennifer R. Povey
2 min readJan 12, 2022
Photo by Gabriel Alenius on Unsplash

So…yeah. This happened.

I was supposed to be driving from northern Virginia to North Carolina last Monday.

That morning, my mother-in-law who, for perspective, is from Minneapolis and once skied to work called and told us not to come.

A few hours later six tractor trailers jacknived in Stafford County (it’s always Stafford County). The road was cleared, but the epic traffic jam…resulted in many people being stuck for more than 24 hours. Including my senator.

I was safe at home, if annoyed. But how did one foot of snow…create that?

Contributing Factors

So, here’s my opinion on what came together to make this wintry clusterf-.

  1. People around here don’t know how to drive on snow and ice. The highway patrol is always yelling on Twitter about it. Slow down!
  2. The rain before the storm supposedly made adequate pretreating impossible.
  3. COVID caused a shortage of snow plow drivers.
  4. Truckers were under pressure to stay on the roads, likely worse than normal due to COVID-related supply chain issues. Dude, your stuff will be even later if it winds up on the interstate. We saw one semi nose down in a ditch with about eight recovery people standing around when we finally drove down on Wednesday. It had been there since Tuesday because they couldn’t figure out how to move it right away. I hope the driver was okay.
  5. The weather really did suck. Snow and ice and…yeah. Cars had to be dug out of the ice.

Biggest lesson? Slow down, don’t pressure truckers and if a midwestern grandma says don’t travel, listen to her.

Jennifer R. Povey

I write about fantasy, science fiction and horror, LGBT issues, travel, and social issues.