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Tornado strikes!
Barn in Viola leveled
Barn in Viola
This more than 40-year-old barn in Viola was destroyed by a tornado Friday.

The remnants of Hurricane Laura swept through Warren County on Friday and left destruction in its wake.

A barn in Viola on Cecil Laxson Road was ripped apart by the storm, leaving the Laxson family to pick up the pieces. It happened around 5 p.m. Friday as winds intensified.

On Saturday, the National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-0 tornado that touched down in Viola. Another EF-0 touched down briefly in Putnam County, the National Weather Service said.

“I have two barns on that road so when I heard there was barn damage I went to investigate,” said Steven Helton, a county commissioner. “My barns were OK, but it just annihilated that one. It blew tin all through the nursery and across the road. It laid a corn field down, which can be pretty expensive damage for what corn is selling for. Six or seven people stopped by to help them clean it up. The majority of the damage I saw was to that barn.”

Road Superintendent Levie Glenn said he was well aware of the incoming storm, but that Warren County was largely spared any damage.

“We got lucky,” said Glenn. “All our crews were ready to go and on standby, but we only got two calls. There were two trees down across Copenhaver Road. That’s in the Campaign-Rock Island area. One tree was pretty large and the other not so large. We got the call about the barn in Viola and were heading that way when we heard some farmers in that area had taken care of it and cleared the road.”

Luanne Laxson told News 2 in Nashville the barn was more than 40 years old and was built by her father, John Laxson, the longtime operator of Uncle John’s Kitchen.

“This farm is where my father grew up and he built this barn for my sister and I to raise calves and he’s been gone now three years,” said Laxson in a News 2 interview. “It’s sad, it’s heartbreaking. It really is. It hurts because dad did build it and we helped him.”

Laxson said the family would like to rebuild the barn exactly how it was, if possible.