One Month After I-95 Crisis, Spanberger Says Virginians “Deserve Answers,” Calls on Youngkin Administration to Complete & Release Full After Action Report

Immediately Following the Backup on Interstate 95, the Congresswoman Called on both the Northam Administration & the Incoming Youngkin Administration to Prioritize a Detailed After Action Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One month after Virginians were stranded for as many as 27 hours on Interstate 95 (I-95), U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today is pressing the Commonwealth to complete and release its multi-agency After Action Report on the incident — a request she initially made in the immediate wake of the record-breaking winter storm and the ensuing backup.

On January 5, 2022, Spanberger called on then-Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and incoming Governor Glenn Youngkin to conduct a multi-agency After Action Report to prevent a similar travel nightmare from happening again on Virginia’s highways. However, no such After Action Report has yet been released to the public.

In a letter sent to Governor Glenn Youngkin, Spanberger today once again is calling on the Commonwealth to complete a report detailing the events, decisions, factors, and challenges before and after the storm — along with recommendations about improving Virginia’s emergency preparedness and response in the future. Additionally, she asked for an update on when such a report will be released.

“One month later, Virginians still have no answers about how such a crisis can be prevented during future storms. Our citizens deserve answers about what circumstances, decisions, and events caused the I-95 catastrophe, as well as what steps the Commonwealth is taking to be better prepared in the future,” said Spanberger.

Spanberger continued, “To this end, I am requesting an update on when Virginians can expect the results of the interagency after action report announced by former Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Valentine. In addition, I request information on how preliminary findings concerning the events leading up to and following the storm on January 3, 2022, have been incorporated into preparation for winter weather this year.”

Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is also below.

Dear Governor Youngkin,

I am writing to follow up on my letter dated January 5, 2022 regarding the egregious backup seen along Interstate 95, between Exits 152 and 104, following the historic winter storm of January 3, 2022. I am encouraged by the steps your administration has taken to prepare for recent storms, including declaring a state of emergency. However, I am concerned about a repeat of the circumstances that clogged a critical transportation artery along the East Coast for more than 24 hours.

As I wrote in my earlier letter, the traffic stoppages along Interstate 95 left thousands of drivers stranded on the road, in their cars, in freezing weather for more than 24 hours without access to food, water, heat, restrooms, and in some cases cell service. Since that event, we have all heard the harrowing stories from Virginians stranded in these conditions. Among those trapped included families with infants, Virginians on their way to parents’ funerals, and commuters trying to get to or home from work. During this ordeal, they reported receiving no guidance, information, or support for hours, as they attempted to ration gas, stay warm, and calm their scared children.

One month later, Virginians still have no answers about how such a crisis can be prevented during future storms. Our citizens deserve answers about what circumstances, decisions, and events caused the I-95 catastrophe, as well as what steps the Commonwealth is taking to be better prepared in the future.

To this end, I am requesting an update on when Virginians can expect the results of the interagency after action report announced by former Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Valentine. In addition, I request information on how preliminary findings concerning the events leading up to and following the storm on January 3, 2022, have been incorporated into preparation for winter weather this year.

On behalf of the people of Virginia’s Seventh District, I thank you for your attention to this serious matter

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