HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. (WKRN) — Flash flooding at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages forcing them to close for the next few months.
“You want to talk about a whirlwind of a weekend, that was this weekend,” General Manager Anthony Brutto said.
Brutto was on-site when the powerful waters washed over much of the property, even wiping out a roadway in the middle of the ranch.
“It was pretty catastrophic; we’ve lost buildings and structures and horse panels and fence line and stuff like that. It’s a pretty devastating hit for us out here,” Brutto said.
The staff tried to save as much equipment, livestock, and property as they could before the flooding became too much to fight through. At one point during Saturday morning’s storm, one of their ranch foreman, Wayne Spears, tried saving his tractor.
“Wayne was trying to recover one of his old tractors out here. We’ve done it a thousand times before where we’ve gone into higher water to save equipment or something. And unfortunately, the tractor flipped, and it took him into the waters,” Brutto said.
Staff later found the 70-year-old’s body. Brutto said it’s a heartbreaking loss for everyone at the ranch.
“He was the backbone of a lot of things here,” Brutto said.
The staff is planning to honor Spears in multiple ways at the ranch, including with a burial on the property.
Brutto said the ranch will likely be closed for the rest of the year as they work to clean up the devastating aftermath.