INTERSTATE 81 BLOCKED AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS, MOTORISTS TOLD TO AVOID TRAVEL

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Photo: Interstate 81 in Wythe County, Virginia. Courtesy of Wytheville Public Safety.
Photo: Interstate 81 in Wythe County, Virginia. Courtesy of Wytheville Public Safety. Officer Bryan Bard.

VDOT: 6 p.m., December 9, 2018

BRISTOL— The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is advising motorists to avoid Interstate 81 in southwestern Virginia and northeast Tennessee due to multiple blockages. There have been backups reported from the Tennessee/Virginia border to Abingdon in Washington County, a distance of over 20 miles.

Much of the terrain is mountainous, causing multiple instances of tractor-trailers getting stuck on inclines. Emergency response teams are working to get those tractor-trailers moving again, but it is a time-consuming, one-by-one process.

VDOT crews are working with local law enforcement to clear the stuck vehicles and get the roads plowed as blockages are removed. Snow continues to fall in areas of southwest Virginia.

Motorists are advised to not travel on I-81 northbound in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia until emergency teams can fully respond.

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