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 on 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 who 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.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, he tweeted that after 27 hours on the road, he’d finally made it to his destination.