Ernie Lynn describes the storm at his family's Hurricane Mills ranch
HURRICANE MILLS, TN (WSMV) -
A legendary country star has been left with a big mess on her hands after storms ripped through her sprawling Middle Tennessee ranch.
For more than half a century, Loretta Lynn has thrilled fans with her signature voice and style. Her humble beginnings and eventual superstar status are reflected on the 6,500-acre ranch in Hurricane Mills that is also a tourist attraction bearing her name.
Storms Wednesday morning leveled parts of the ranch, and Lynn's son, Ernie, said his mother took cover in a closet as hundreds of trees were uprooted.
Now, industrial fans are drying out the carpet in the star's plantation home where she lived for more than 20 years with husband "Doo" and their children.
The ranch is home, but it's also big business. It ranks as the 17th most visited attraction in Tennessee, and three campers were actually on the property that morning riding out the storm.
"It was intense. I mean, it was intense," said camper Scott Myers.
"We heard it, but there was no time to go anywhere. We just had to ride it out," said camper Jim Watson.
Ranch manager Will Rourke said he's hoping to get the historic site ready for business before the busy tourist season starts in a few months.
"Of course, one of our biggest events is the Grand National Motocross, and we'll have more than 30,000 people on our property over a two-week period," Rourke said.
Crews spent much of Thursday still clearing debris on the ranch, and it could cost upwards of $100,000 to repair everything.
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