Survivors of 1998 tornado recall destructive day

Posted: 5:33 PM, Aug 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-24 19:38:45-04

It was a day many in northeast Wisconsin will never forget: August 23 marks twenty years since a tornado hit Door County.

In 1998, the Sawyers called a different house here their home until the tornado came through, leaving a few pieces of machinery hay and just parts of the house.

Sarah Sawyer says her husband and kids were at a baseball game and beach when they saw dark clouds coming in. So, they dropped the kids at home and headed to the Egg Harbor Lodge, which they still own today.

They saw waterspouts over the bay and got their guests to safety, before rushing home to check on their kids in the basement. When Sarah got home, she saw her house destroyed but met her four kids outside, safe and sound.

“We were so happy nothing happened to our kids,” Sawyer recalled. “I couldn't even cry until that point, I was so beyond thankful for all of these people in Door County that had helped us so much it was great."

Sarah says they had nothing after the tornado, but the community gave them the support to rebuild.