Critics quick to blame Glenn Youngkin for icy I-95 crisis — despite not being in office yet

Many critics blame Virginia Gov-elect Glenn Youngkin, not Ralph Northam, for I-95 icejam

Tucker Carlson and Va. radio host Vince Coglianese offer reaction on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’

When a snow squall blanketed Virginia, the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Delaware with several inches of snow, the busiest highway on the east coast quickly became a parking lot after black ice and heavy snow intensified a backup caused by a jackknifed big rig near Fredericksburg – about 50 miles south of Washington.

The 179-mile stretch of Interstate 95 through Virginia has been a nationally-crucial piece of infrastructure for nearly a century, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday. 

As hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight in frigid conditions in their vehicles along the northern third of the highway in Virginia, many took to Twitter to lambast Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin – who however does not actually take office until January 15.

One of the stranded motorists, New Jersey parent Joseph Catalano however told Fox News he reached out to the actual governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, while his family was trying to make their way through the Commonwealth on their way home from Disney World.

The Virginia Department of Transportation was warning motorists to avoid travel on I-95 until lanes reopen and congestion clears.

Many, however, impulsively blamed Youngkin for not being prepared, Carlson noted.

Carlson pointed to a tweet from anti-Trump Republican pundit Jonah Goldberg, saying that if he “were Glenn Youngkin, I’d be flooding the zone”, as images spread of drivers stuck on the frozen blacktop in places like Ladysmith, Spotsylvania and Carmel Church, while conditions on the paralleling, older arterial US-1 weren’t any better.

Other critics called it “not a good start” for Youngkin, while another critic lamented, “does Virginia’s new Governor Youngkin know people have been stranded on I-95 for 15 hours?”

Northern Virginia radio host Vince Coglianese later told Carlson that despite being wrongly blamed for inaction and the fact he’s still technically a private citizen, Youngkin and his gubernatorial transition team were receiving briefings and speaking with the media about the snow catastrophe stymieing the east’s coasts asphalt backbone.

Vehicles are seen in a still image from video as authorities worked to reopen an icy stretch of Interstate 95 closed after a storm blanketed the U.S. region in snow a day earlier, near Garrisonville, Virginia, U.S. January 4, 2022.  ABC/WJLA via REUTERS   NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT

“He seemed quite active in a way that Ralph Northam did not,” Coglianese said, adding that Northam didn’t tweet about the crisis until 8 AM ET, after many motorists spent a frigid night in their vehicles.

“Glenn Youngkin wasn’t even in office.”

While certain new officeholders like New York City Mayor Eric Adams took office on January 1, there is no nationwide date on which state or local officials to take office.

Coglianese also questioned the absence of USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, noting that I-95 and its western counterpart I-5 are probably the two most important longitudinal highways in the country.

“He has done nothing to relieve the pressure?” the host remarked.

The snow-in ensnared a handful of top Washington figures, including Sen. Timothy Kaine, who said he was traveling from his Richmond home to D.C., as well as NBC News reporter Joshua Lederman. 

Lederman said he was stuck in his vehicle overnight on the highway.

In full, Interstate 95 runs more than 1,900 miles from a Canadian border crossing near Houlton, Maine, to its end at the aforementioned Route 1 in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami, serving many major cities in between.

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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