Sen. Kaine: 'Miserable' commute became a survival project

Wintere Weather Interstate Shutdown
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 13:06:31-05

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Sen. Tim Kaine left his home in Richmond for his usual two-hour commute to the U.S. Capitol after Monday's snowstorm, eager to negotiate voting rights legislation and preside over the Senate Tuesday morning.

Instead, he was stranded all night on a stretch of Interstate 95 where trucks lost control on the icy pavement, shutting down the East Coast's main north-south corridor and trapping hundreds of drivers in temperatures that dropped to 15 degrees (minus 9 Celsius).

The Democrat told radio station WTOP that he worried about all the families with children or elderly passengers who were running out of fuel and food. Then he got a little envious, because at least they had body heat to share.

“At some point I kind of made the switch from a miserable travel experience to a kind of survival project,” Kaine said when he was still stuck after 21 hours alone in his car.

But Kaine also described a camaraderie as strangers connected along the highway, including a Connecticut family that walked up and down lines of parked cars, sharing a bag of oranges they had planned to bring home from a Florida vacation.

"I’ve never seen anything like it," Kaine said. “I will never forget this.”

Related: I-95 nightmare extends into Day 2: 'Never seen anything like it'