If you were anywhere near Sturgeon Bay early Saturday morning, you might’ve been woken up by a huge thunderclap and bright lightning at almost exactly 2:00 am. As it turned out, lightning had struck a very large old red oak tree next to the house at 234 Nautical Drive near the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. Sharon Kroes lives in the house and shares her story…..
An emergency fire call was soon made since she could smell smoke in the house. Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman reports that his men at the west side station, just one block away from the strike, had never felt a thunderclap shake them that hard before. He went on to explain some of the damage…..
2 engines and 4 firefighters responded to the scene, but there was no remaining active fire to extinguish. It was determined the house did not take a direct hit, but most of the electrical lines were blown with some outlets actually blown out of the walls……
The lightning struck the tree straight down the middle, and it is still standing, but it has been declared unstable and sadly will be coming down later this week. Back in 2008, Door County naturalist Roy Lukes studied this tree, thought to be the oldest red oak in Door County. At that time it was 63 feet tall and calculated to be 164 years old. At about 4 feet off the ground, the trunk’s circumference was measured at 10 feet – 7 inches.