1979 trucker’s strike left Louisville gas pumps dry – About Your Online Magazine


As the south is returning to normal after a gas shortage, Louisville experienced chaos at the pump in 1979 due to a truckers strike.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A cyber attack by ransomware on one of the country’s largest pipelines causes gas shortages in the south and along the east coast.

Even though the pipeline did not affect Kentuckiana, gas stations in the area still saw long lines and some places running out of fuel because of the buying panic.

It is not the first time that the area has experienced a panic at the pump.

It was June 1979 and the 1973 energy crisis was still fresh in everyone’s mind. Truck drivers who take money home were being eaten alive by the rising cost of diesel.

“We have a problem and it is everyone’s problem. We prefer that you do not buy, ”said a truck driver.

Independent truck drivers were mainly affected and announced their strike plans. Many people panicked and headed for the bombs.

“It has been a little difficult. [I] waited in line for about 45 minutes last night and I got to the pump and they ran out, ”said one consumer.

Another woman told WHAS11 News that her husband told her not to come home without gas.

The truckers who worked for the big named companies were not facing the same fuel challenges, but some started to attack in solidarity while others came together for fear of what could happen if they were caught in their trucks.

“I don’t think a gas load is worth my life or anyone else’s life,” a trucker told WHAS11 News.

As soon as the shutdown was officially started, chaos ensued quickly. Large platforms blocked interstate roads in southern Indiana and entrances to Louisville’s fuel parks.

Strikeers parked their platforms on Southwestern Parkway at the entrance to Ashland and asked other drivers not to enter the factory to lift loads.

A trucker said at the time: “You can come in if you want, but I don’t think it is better”.

After the police were called, the WHAS11 News cameras caught a truck driver running from the scene and to another place in the city where a man started a fire, almost burning himself.

In Clarksville, truckers used their semis to block diesel fuel pumps. A furious driver vandalized a semi and then a shot – the truck stop manager witnessed everything.

“The truck stopped – I saw a man jump with an iron tool and start rocking it, so we called the police,” he said.

“What happened when you heard the shot? Was there a lot of people here? ”Asked the reporter.

The manager replied, “Yes, it looked like a flock of birds – they flew in all directions.”

Police said that no one was hit in the incident and that a weapon could not be found.

Meanwhile, situations at the pumps were getting worse.

The pumps dried up because half of the gasoline supply, about 700,000 gallons, was not delivered because it was in storage tanks.

Gas station employees were forced to expand their responsibilities, becoming not just fuel sellers, but chaos controllers, while angry customers waited in line for hours.

The panic went beyond the bombs, but what was not being delivered, then Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll called for help, authorizing the Kentucky State Police to provide escorts for fuel vehicles.

Protection was offered to truck drivers who drove during the shortage, but critics at the time said it made them targets.

After weeks of closed gas stations, long lines and sporadic incidents of violence, the governor’s decision to call the National Guard would ultimately put an end to everything.

Days later, normalcy returned to the streets of Louisville and, thus, the protests of the truck drivers of 1979 came to an end.

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Contact reporter Shay McAlister atsmcalister@whas11.com. follow herTwitter (@ WHAS11Shay)andFacebook.



Paula Fonseca