(CNN)Laura Harlin and her family hunkered down in their basement as a tornado barreled through Tennessee on Tuesday.
When they emerged to assess the damage outside, they spotted an airport sign in their backyard.
The green and white metal sign has the word "terminal" printed on it with an arrow pointed up. The metal sign looks like a piece of paper that was crumpled up and then straightened back out.
An EF-3 tornado ripped through East Nashville, Donelson and Mt. Juliet, about 20 miles east of Nashville.
Harlin believes the sign came from John C. Tune Airport in west Nashville, which is about 20 miles away from her home in Mt. Juliet. The airport said they sustained an estimated $93 million in damage but no reported injuries.
"I have lived in Middle Tennessee pretty much my entire life and have never been so nervous or scared for a storm/tornado," Harlin told CNN. "I can't even count how many times we've been to the basement over the years for tornado warnings, but this one felt completely different."
Harlin said they could hear the wind and pelting of hail hitting the house as her family hid in the basement. The path of the tornado shifted and missed hitting her home. But, Harlin said, the area she grew up in is destroyed.
"It's just absolutely heartbreaking to see the damage and to hear of the stories from people I know who have been impacted directly," she said. "...it's hard to put into words how I feel."