Over the Aug. 21-22 weekend, widespread flash flooding impacted Middle Tennessee, including country music star Loretta Lynn’s Hurricane Mills ranch, located in Humphreys County, Tenn. Lynn, as well as the official Loretta Lynn’s Ranch Facebook account, shared that ranch foreman Wayne Spears was swept up in the flood waters on Saturday and did not survive.
“There are no words at the ranch today…only tears,” read a post on Lynn’s official Facebook page, which was accompanied by photos of Spears. “We lost my amazing ranch foreman, Wayne, in this devastating flood. He took such good care of things here on the ranch for us. He’s one of us and the whole Lynn family is heartbroken. Please pray for his precious family and friends.”
“Wayne has been a family friend to the Lynns and a fixture to the Ranch for decades and we are all devastated by his passing,” read a statement from Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. “The Ranch will never be the same without him but he will always be remembered for his ready smile, kind heart, and willingness to go the extra mile for everyone around him. Eventually we will rebuild our community, our ranch, our lives and our homes but only God could build a man like Wayne Spears. There’s just no replacing that. May he rest in peace.”
Lynn herself is “completely safe and healthy,” Lynn’s granddaughter and fellow musician Tayla Lynn said on social media.
The official Facebook account for Loretta Lynn’s Ranch also shared a video of flood damage to the property, noting that the main road to the ranch was washed away. The ranch’s amenities include a full-service RV park, more than 300 power and water campsites, 18 cabins and numerous activities such as hiking, fishing, volleyball, campfire shows and more.
The New York Times reports at least 22 people have been killed, with 50 others missing, in Middle Tennessee after flash floods ravaged the area over the weekend. Humphreys County has a population of around 18,500.
According to the National Weather Service, nearby McEwen, Tenn. (also located in Humphreys County), recorded 17 inches of rain on Saturday.
On Sunday afternoon, President Joe Biden offered his condolences, saying, “I want to begin by expressing my deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to this flash flood. I’ve asked the administrator to speak to Governor Lee of Tennessee, right away, and will offer any assistance they need for this terrible moment.”
See Loretta Lynn’s Facebook post: