This week’s winter storm disaster on Virginia’s I-95 has made headlines for multiple reasons. However now, as traffic began flowing again Tuesday afternoon, other less immediate issues have arisen. One came as an unfortunate Uber rider racked up an impressive bill after he and his driver became stuck on the highway for nine long hours.
Fortunately, Uber refunded the rider, Andrew Peters of Richmond, VA, his $600. Obviously, the highway-turned-parking-lot came of no fault of his own. According to The Hill, Peters had just flown in from San Francisco and landed at Dulles International Airport where he caught his ride. He’d been traveling home when he ran into what the outlet called the “grid-lock” on I-95 with the Uber driver.
After spending nine hours on the highway, the VA resident finally arrived home. Then, he found a $200 charge for the ride on his card. Not long after, he found another charge for $400.
According to a statement from Uber themselves, the company refunded the previously stranded passenger the full $600. They wrote, “We have refunded Mr. Peters after this terrible ordeal and are so glad that he and his Uber driver got home safely.”
Additionally, on the part of the stranded driver, Uber stated his pay will remain unaffected. As many frequent Uber fliers know, travel totals consist of both the time and distance of the trip. In cases like these, patrons can wrack up some pretty hefty fees.
Virginia Authorities Offer Explanation for I-95 Gridlock
As Outsiders well know, Monday night saw a winter storm roll in that brought traffic on VA’s I-95 to a standstill. Many motorists were left stranded on the highway for more than 24 hours without rescue as temperatures dropped below freezing.
Besides snow and ice, multiple car pile-ups and jackknifed tractor-trailers contributed to the stand-still on the highway, however, government inaction received a lot of the blame.
Now, a day after the highway’s been cleared, VA authorities blamed significant amounts of rainfall prior to the snow accumulations for the standstill traffic. According to VA’s Commissioner of Highways, Stephen Birch, the rain had prevented workers from pretreating I-95 with ice melt.
More specifically, he stated, “We were not able to treat our roadways before and this is due to the rain. The rain would have washed all our chemicals and salt off the roads and provided no additional protection.”
As per VDOT (the Virginia Department of Transportation), officials stated workers finally cleared I-95 around 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
Further, while traffic was finally able to move on Tuesday, VDOT warned Tuesday night would again see freezing temperatures. With that, they shared on social media, “Temps will AGAIN be below freezing tonight. Please be advised to stay home if possible as roads are still being cleared.”
As of Wednesday, Virginians saw no weather-related delays on I-95.