Interstate 95 in Newington, Virginia, experienced a major disruption today when a power line fell across the highway, leading to its closure for several hours. The incident, which caused significant inconvenience for motorists, is currently under investigation to determine the cause.
According to Dominion Energy, the power line may have been struck by landscaping equipment, resulting in its snap. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is also looking into the possibility of their own crew's involvement. Immediate danger was present on the scene, as a nearby gas station reported a fire, necessitating the activation of emergency shut-off measures. Scorch marks on the ground bear witness to the intensity of the incident.
Commuters voiced their frustration at the situation, describing it as another instance of the perennial traffic woes they endure. Eyewitnesses shared photos that captured the aftermath of the fallen power line, with one image showing a shattered windshield, suggesting that a driver may have been struck. Loreto Cruz, a producer at FOX 5, happened to be on the road during the incident and shared firsthand accounts and pictures.
Efforts to restore normalcy involved Dominion Power crews working diligently to de-energize the line, remove it, and reopen the affected stretch of Interstate 95. Throughout the process, crews closely examined the telephone pole in question in an attempt to shed light on the precise cause of the incident. A Dominion Energy spokesperson says it appears some landscaping equipment may have hit the post causing it to snap.
The closure of the interstate led to diverted traffic and subsequent congestion on nearby side roads. Compounding the issue, some traffic lights in the area were also out of operation, exacerbating the already challenging situation for drivers.
Motorists shared their disbelief at the unprecedented turn of events, with some forced to turn around on the interstate to find alternative routes. The magnitude of the disruption was especially striking for individuals unaccustomed to such traffic conditions, like Becky Zingler, who remarked on the extraordinary experience of traveling against the flow on the interstate.
Reflecting on the incident, Clint Van Winkle expressed his astonishment at the swift actions taken to redirect traffic once the need to change direction became apparent.
While power has been largely restored, plans for re-stringing the lines across the interstate are still being finalized. The investigation into the cause of the incident remains ongoing by VDOT, with authorities determined to uncover the exact circumstances that led to the power line's fall