HARDWICK, Vt. — Residents of Hardwick are grappling with the aftermath of destructive flash floods that wreaked havoc on their community.
The deluge caused extensive damage to local businesses and infrastructure, leaving the town in a state of shock. Built along the banks of the Lamoille River, Hardwick is particularly susceptible to flooding. While the roads in downtown appeared relatively unscathed, other areas bore the brunt of the devastating floods.
One of the most severely impacted establishments was the Inn by the River, which transformed into the Inn in the River within a matter of hours. “We’re just kind of in shock. God has taken care of us; He always has, He always will. But we’re just trying to figure out what happened,” said owner Freida Hollyer.
The hotel suffered an estimated half-a-million dollars in damages, adding to the growing economic toll of the disaster.
Community members, like Ellen Legg, who frequently drove past the hotel, mourn the loss of the once-thriving establishment. “It’s sad to see this place because it was up and coming,” she said. “I used to see more cars parked here. It was a nice place to be.”
Another local favorite, Hardwick House of Pizza, also experienced significant setbacks due to the floods, further exacerbating the economic challenges faced by the town. However, the resilient spirit of the Hardwick community shines through, as neighbors band together to provide support and assistance during these trying times.
Sections of Route 15, a vital thoroughfare connecting Hardwick to Danville, were severely damaged and rendered impassable. The force of the raging Lamoille River tore apart segments of the road, forcing its closure for several days. After extensive efforts by repair crews, a single lane of traffic was reopened on Wednesday night, offering a glimmer of hope for the reconnection of the affected areas.
While some roads in Hardwick, such as North Main Street, showed no signs of the recent storm, the devastation becomes evident when venturing just a few minutes away from the town. The effects of the floods on Route 15 are stark, with portions of the road completely washed away by the powerful currents.
In addition to the physical damage, the emotional toll on the community is profound. Hardwick, like many other towns across the state, must now grapple with the task of rebuilding and healing.
Emergency shelters, such as Hazen Union High School, have been set up in the area to provide aid and comfort to those affected. Restoration efforts are underway, but the road to recovery will be long and arduous.