NISSWA — It was a typically busy summer day Tuesday in Nisswa with tourists buzzing in and out of shops and cameras flashing. Except on Tuesday most of the focus was on the enormous fallen tree blocking the storefront of The Courtyard Boutique and Gift Shop on Main Street.
Randi Caschke, owner of The Courtyard, said she was at the cash register in her store around 3 p.m. Tuesday when the tree fell.
“It wasn’t even a storm— it’s a clear day,” Caschke said. “God just said it was time.”
The tree, estimated to be about 100 years old, snapped a few feet from the ground and fell blocking the entrance to Caschke’s boutique and landed partly on the deck of Rafferty’s Pizza next door. The tree’s collapse was partly suspended by another oak tree that took the took the brunt of the fall.
Caschke said there were customers eating on the deck at Rafferty’s, but all moved in time before the tree settled where they were sitting. “There’s a lot of shaken up people” Caschke said. “I’m just thankful it didn’t happen during Crazy Days — someone would have gotten hurt.”
Caschke said there were no major injuries. One woman suffered a minor injury to her head.
Cat Blaeser and Maria Brown, both 14, had front row seats to the action in the Courtyard. Both girls were working at the popcorn stand across the courtyard from Rafferty’s and saw the tree fall. “Somebody said, ‘Duck!’ really loud,” Blaeser said. “We heard this big crack and then it fell.”
“It was really scary,” Brown added.
Caschke said officials arrived soon after the fell and there were immediate plans to reroute the power line taken out by the tree. Businesses in the area lost power while officials worked on the lines.
Caschke planned to close her business for the rest of the afternoon, but planned to open again on Wednesday.
Jim Dullum, owner of Martin’s Sports Shop in Nisswa, said he was in his shop when the tree fell. Dullum said he didn’t hear the incident, but learned of if from customers who entered his store. “Somebody came in and told us, ‘I think you got a problem in your courtyard,’” Dullum said.
Dullum said he expects the clean up to go smoothly and is grateful that, in spite of the inconvenience, there were no major injuries. “They’ll clean up the yard and we’ll move on with life,” he said. “Fortunately no one was hurt. Fortunately there was minimal damage. If it had to happen, we are fortunate.”
SARAH NELSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5879.