Loretta Lynn is remembering her longtime friend and ranch foreman, Wayne Spears, after he died in the Tennessee floods over the weekend, sharing a message on Facebook on Sunday, Aug. 22. "There are no words at the ranch today...only tears," she began.
"Our ranch family is our family," Lynn continued. "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." Spears, the longtime foreman of The Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, is one of at least 22 people who have been confirmed to have died in the flooding, which struck parts of Middle Tennessee. Around 12 more are confirmed missing, according to WSMV.
Lynn's ranch had initially confirmed Spears' death in a statement. "With the heaviest of hearts we are saddened to report that our beloved foreman Wayne Spears did not survive being swept up in the flood waters," the message read. "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."
"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," the post continued. "Eventually we'll 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."
On Saturday, the region was inundated with up to 17 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service. The Humphreys County Sheriff's Office is advising people to avoid travel unless "absolutely necessary," and drivers are being told "not attempt to cross flooded roads or walkways. Turn around, don't drown." Lynn's ranch is located in Humphreys County, and the ranch shared on Facebook on Saturday that the storm was "the worst flooding we have ever experienced." "Please continue to hold those still missing in your thoughts," they wrote.