On this date in 1998, residents of Egg Harbor, WI went to bed fearing the worst. An F3 tornado came ashore just south of Frank Murphy County Park, carving a path from the shore inland five miles long. The multiple-vortex tornado was up to a half mile wide at times and was on the ground for almost 14 minutes.
It came ashore at 6:30 pm, snapping and uprooting thousands of trees and shredding buildings and homes in its path, including the Cornerstone Suites, Bel Air Motel, Sunnypoint Gardens, and a campground. In total, the tornado caused an estimated $7 million in damages and cut off power to nearly all of Northern Door County.
“I was at our restaurant, Dano’s Pizza, cooking in the kitchen,” recalled Pulse contributor Myles Dannhausen Jr. “My older brother Dan was delivering a pizza to the Cornerstone Suites and knew nothing about a tornado warning. He knocked on the door to deliver the pizza and the people there were shocked he didn’t know about it and begged him to get down in the basement with them. He’s stubborn and a little crazy, so he didn’t, and he left to race back to the restaurant. As he did he could see the massive tornado off to the west, bearing down on the Cornerstone. By the time he got back to the restaurant our power was out, and from what he told us of the tornado, we assumed we were going to find out a lot of friends and neighbors were killed. Somehow, it spared them, including the folks at the Cornerstone, which was ripped apart.”
Amazingly, when residents awoke to see the devastation the morning of Aug. 24, nobody was killed, and only two people suffered injuries.