Local preschool closed for one day, storm knocks over tree cutting off power

A preschool was closed on Wednesday after a storm ripped down a tree, cutting off the school’s power.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A preschool was closed on Wednesday after a storm ripped down a tree, cutting off the school’s power. Civic League Day Nursery’s power has since been restored, but staff members are still busy cleaning up the damage.

“The power of this and how quickly this happened was just amazing,” Civic League Day Nursery executive director Jackie Benoit-Petrich said.

Staff members say the tree is a huge loss for the students because it provided the youngsters with shade in their play area.

“To have that big 100-year-old tree, dappling shade all-around their sandbox,” Benoit-Petrich said.

Instead of sending their kids to school, some parents helped clean up the aftermath.

“Our tree fell, and when they cleared the road, all this rubble went into our neighbor’s yard, so not only did he clean up ours, he’s cutting up and cleaning the neighbor’s yard,” Benoit-Petrich said.

“I knew that I could help clean up. This is what I do for part of my income, and all this help makes it so much easier than when I normally do it on my own,” Civic League Day Nursery parent Ken Carmen said. “It makes it safe for people to be back on the sidewalks. Then we can get our kids back to school tomorrow. That’s the most important thing.”

Thankfully, the school is still in one piece, a building with a lot of historical significance and Mayo Clinic ties.

“For 150 years some of the last editions and renovations were put in in 1910, and we are so proud to be stewards of this home,” Benoit-Petrich said.

Civic League staff members say they are working on finding other forms of shade for the playground like an awning. They’d eventually like to see another tree go up so that its canopy can provide some more shade for the students.

The preschool will be back up and running Thursday morning.

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