When Tropical Storm Irene walloped Vermont last August, much of the spine of the state was paralyzed. Towns on Route 100 were hit especially hard. Hancock, with the population of 3-hundred people, was one of them.
"Like nothing we ever planned for or could of expected," said resident Jill Jesso-White.
To put it bluntly, it was a nightmare. Four buildings were destroyed, power was out for over a week, and the town was cut off from the world.
"All of the pavement was gone, it was just a wide gap," Jesso-White said.
Now, this branch of the White River is tame and the people in the town are enjoying the sunny weather.
And brunch is back on the menu at the Vermont Home Bakery in the center of town.
"It's so wonderful to see a friend with her business back up," said resident Kate Seager.
The combination hotel and restaurant has been opened in 1788. Dianne Isaacson has owned the business since 1989. But, the storm almost closed it for good. Rushing waters destroyed the well and the basement flooded. To make matters worse, the eatery was barely making it before Irene.
"I had 23 dollars in my personal account and 45 dollars left in the business account," Isaacson said.
It was almost the knockout punch.
"I think I would have walked away from this if hadn't been so many people had done so much to help me," Isaacson said.
Small donations and volunteers helped get the business back on it's feet.
With the opening of the restaurant, things are starting to get back to normal, but there is one change in Hancock, people are more likely to help each other out.
"I think people are more aware that the hustle and bustle, you need to take time even though you are very busy," Jesso-White said.
After being halted for years, Green Up Day is back in town, there's now a Friends of the Hancock Library and even a community pride committee.
"This flower barrel is our very first attempt for beautification of the town," Jesso-White said.
Back at the restaurant, patrons are pleased to see the business bustling.
A town that lost buildings but gained a sense of community spirt.
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