Filling stations and convenience stores did steady business, at least once drivers were able to get to them. An employee who answered the phone at a Sheetz gas station in Woodford, Va., on Tuesday afternoon said customers had been streaming in — many on foot, having walked about a quarter-mile from the highway.
“We don’t have much of anything left,” said the employee, who gave only his first name, Jason. Asked whether the station was out of fuel, he said, “We’re about to be.”
The bad weather also disrupted rail traffic in Virginia. An Amtrak train that was on its way to New York from New Orleans returned to the station in Lynchburg, Va., after coming to a stop north of there on Monday, according to passengers who said they had been told that downed trees were blocking the tracks.
Malcolm Kenton, who was on his way to Washington from Greensboro, N.C., said Amtrak gave passengers the choice of leaving when the train returned to Lynchburg. Mr. Kenton disembarked and spent the night at a hotel.
“The train ran out of food at 6 p.m.,” he said. “It wasn’t officially announced, but we started hearing discussion that some of the toilets weren’t working. We just weren’t willing to risk having to spend the night on a train with no food and no working toilets.”
The storm caused problems around the region, burying parts of Virginia in more than 15 inches of snow, and knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of customers in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Monday’s storm led to the deaths of at least five people. In Maryland, two women and a man died after their vehicle collided with a snow plow, according to the Montgomery County Police Department. Local news outlets in Tennessee and Georgia reported that a child in each state had died after trees fell onto their homes.