RUFFIN, Rockingham County — Dozens of brides would have to make do with a different option for their weddings after Sunday's tornado destroyed a popular venue. The National Weather Service confirmed, Monday, that the storm which ripped through Rockingham County was an EF-2 Tornado. Packing wind speeds of up to 125 miles per hour, the tornado destroyed the barn at Oakhaven Properties.
Property managers surveyed the damage Monday afternoon and fought back tears at the sight of the devastation.
"The tornado came by, it ripped the barn down, took the tops off and pulled a couple of trees at the house," said Gary Barrett, the events manager for Oakhaven Properties, a prime wedding venue located on Dibrell Road in Ruffin.
According to Barrett, the barn was just renovated and was booked up with more than 60 events over the spring and summer months. A number of those events included weddings and an anxious bride who lived nearby also stopped by to take a look at the damage. Barrett said the management is looking for ways to find alternatives for all of those events.
"The brides that I have if you're watching just bear with us we'll make it," said Barrett as tears streamed down his face. He is still thankful that the tornado didn't come a day early.
"I had the Reidsville High senior prom Saturday night with about 200 people. If a storm had come I would have told them to stay inside and it would have been devastating," he added. Despite the setback the situation presented, Barrett said he would only stay positive
"We're not the type that will let it beat us up, we'll work it out and figure it out. we started from the scratch and we'll do it again," he concluded.
Barrett also said that several event centers in the Triad have already reached out to help re-locate and re-schedule some of those weddings and events. If you would like to help contact Oakhaven.