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Editorial: Warm hearts on a cold highway

Winter Weather-Interstate Shutdown

Kiara Davis (left) and Aja Brown walk up the southbound I95 on ramp toward Route 234 in Dumfries, Va. on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The two brought a cooler with beverages and snacks for anyone they may have found stranded on the highway. Hundreds of motorists waited desperately for help Tuesday after a winter storm snarled traffic in Virginia and left some drivers stranded for nearly 24 hours in freezing temperatures along an impassable stretch of interstate south of the nation’s capital.

When a major snowstorm closed Interstate 95 in Virginia and left hundreds of motorists stranded last week, a little bit of creative thinking mixed with a load of generosity helped some desperate people survive the ordeal. Most motorists didn’t bring supplies of food and water since no one could have predicted the long, cold hours ahead.

Semitruck driver Jean-Carlo Gachet, however, had plenty of food stocked in the cabin of his big rig. He cranked up the microwave in his truck, heated some food and brought it out to the incredulous driver behind him, saying, “Hey, I just made you a hot breakfast and a cup of fruit punch,” Gachet told CNN.

A stranded couple from Maryland noticed that that a delivery truck ahead of them was from Schmidt’s Baking Co. Having spent the previous 37 hours without food, they got an idea. They phoned the Schmidt customer service line and asked if perhaps the truck’s contents could be put to better use.

The owner of the company got on the phone, and shortly afterward, the truck’s doors opened, and loaves of bread kept the masses fed while they waited to start rolling once again.

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