Dozens stranded: Turmoil as hundreds of cars stuck on Rts. 20, 29, and 53
The botched commute that opened what appears on its way to becoming a record December snowfall has turned into an unwelcome slumber party for at least two dozen strangers who had been trying to get home along Thomas Jefferson Parkway and Scottsville Road, according to Albemarle County spokesperson Lee Catlin, who notes in a pre-dawn release that "at some time at around midnight, stranded motorists began to be transported to the Monticello and North Garden fire stations, with a total of about 25 being sheltered there overnight."
The emergency around Charlottesville has gotten so dire that, Catlin notes, the National Guard has begun providing rescue assistance. As of early Saturday morning, she notes, there are about 100 cars–- many still occupied–- on Scottsville Road, aka Route 20 South.
Meanwhile, on Monacan Trail (Route 29 South), Catlin notes, there are another 100 cars and about 75 tractor trailers stranded–- most since 5pm Friday, shortly after the storm began.
Officials have opened a shelter at UVA's Aquatics & Fitness Center, with the Red Cross bringing a trailer full of cots and blankets and Albemarle's Social Services Department staffing the facility. VDOT reports that Route 29 in southern Albemarle County is closed between Route 692 (Plank Road) and the Nelson County line.
Catlin notes that rescue efforts have been hampered by the vast numbers of stranded and abandoned vehicles, and residents are "strongly encouraged" not to drive until conditions improve. However, anyone with a four-wheel-drive vehicle to help transport hospital personnel and other essential workers is encouraged to call the Emergency Communications Center at 434-979-INFO.