Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, D., took heat Wednesday after blaming thousands of drivers for being on the road only to be left stranded on Interstate 95 due to heavy snowfall that crippled snow removal crews.
“We gave warnings, and people need to pay attention to these warnings, and the less people that are on the highways when these storms hit, the better,” Northam told The Washington Post.
A sitting senator, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., was among the stranded drivers Tuesday. He documented his nightmarish commute on Twitter, finally reaching the Capitol after 27 hours.
Northam and the Virginia Department of Transportation have been accused of failing to prepare the roads for the upcoming onslaught of snow, while some who were stuck in the winter storm traffic hit the governor and the agency for not responding fast enough following the disaster.
“I’ve contacted the governor, he finally came out this morning and said he has shelters opening up. It’s a day late and a dollar short,” father Joseph Catalano, who got stuck in the traffic after taking his family on a post-Christmas trip to Disney World, said.
But Northam did not seem to be keen on accepting accountability. And when the governor pointed fingers at Virginia drivers, his critics shamed him and started counting down the hours until he hands over the keys to the governor’s mansion. Republican Glenn Youngkin, who defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in November’s gubernatorial election, will be sworn into office on Jan. 15.
“You can’t make it up,” National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar tweeted.
Northam tweeted Tuesday night that all stranded drivers had been accounted for, but urged Virginians to stay off the roads as the situation remains “hazardous.”