PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) – The largest and most destructive tornado to hit on Saturday was an EF-2 storm that started south of Carthage.

  The tornado resulted in the death of a woman in Deadwood, and a path of damage almost 17 miles long.

  According to the National Weather Service, the tornado touched down at 7:38 p.m. Saturday near the Antioch Community.

  From there it traveled east to Deadwood, where it uprooted large trees and took a wall off the fire station.

  Along FM 31, a large tree came crashing down on a mobile home occupied by Edward and Cynthia Laird.

  “I heard what sounded like people throwing baseballs,” Edward Laird said.

  “And when I opened the door, I could see it (the tornado). And by the time I shut the door, I heard that tree out yonder fall. And I said ‘grab my hands, let’s pray.’ And when I did, that tree came down.”

  Laird said he suffered a head injury as a result of the falling tree.

  He eventually managed to call for his wife, but there was no answer.

  Several hours later, first responders recovered the 46-year-old woman’s body from beneath the tree.

  “It’s like she disappeared,” Laird said. “It drove her into the floor.”

  Outside of Laird’s home is a cross saying, “Jesus is Lord.”

  And its faith that Laird says will help him move forward without his wife.

  “Every time I shut my eyes, I can see it hitting her,” he said wiping away tears.

  “I know she’s in heaven with her daddy. But we’re left down here to suffer.”

  He said they would have celebrated eight years of marriage this summer.

  Funeral services for Cynthia Laird will be 2 p.m. Thursday, April 1, at the Hawthorn Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Larry Harville and Rev. Mike Lauxman officiating. Burial will follow in the Adams Cemetery under the direction of Hawthorn Funeral Home. Visitation will be 6-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Hawthorn Funeral Home.

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