Hurricane damage
Hurricane damageIsrael news photo: Caryn Lubin

More than a million households are still in the dark one week after Hurricane Sandy struck the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

Some 1.4 million homes and businesses were still without power by Monday morning due to damage from the storm, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

The report issued Monday morning said that figure was still better than it had been the day before, when half a million more customers were without electricity. On Saturday, 1.1 million more had been powerless, the department said.

Most of the blackout was in the state of New Jersey, according to the report, where 780,000 households – 20 percent of customers – were still without power. The next hardest-hit state was New York, where some 500,000 homes and businesses still had outages, according to the DOE report.

Some 30,000 people were left homeless by the storm in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Just hours after the hurricane had passed, an Arutz Sheva reader wrote in response to a query that he was now homeless: "My house is gone. All the houses on the beach are gone; all the houses on the block have 6 feet of water. There are cars are all over the place. I am in the office. Thanks for asking.”

On a Brooklyn Jewish neighborhood Internet list serve, people were appealing Monday evening for help of all kinds. "People Need Help!" said one in its subject line. "Hello, people need help West 5 and Neptune Ave (Brooklyn NY )... old people need basic help: water, food ... toilets don't work. They don't have electric power and gas in apartments. Please forward this to your friends!" urged the writer.

Another posting entitled, "Special Announcement" begged,  "Pikuach Nefesh!!! (Save a Life!) Couple in their nineties needs help NOW.  Elderly couple in Manhattan Beach need help -- basics - cleaning, going through stuff, laundry." 

A volunteer writing on the local New York-based Yeshiva World News website described the horrific situation that still exists in numerous outlying neighborhoods along the shoreline in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island: "houses are flooded from basement to first floor, destroying everything and leaving a toxic smell in its path... sand clogged the pipes and septic water was swept throughout their homes. Half the people are staying home because they are scared of looting, and the other half are leaving because they are scared of the type of people looting. People are freezing, hungry, in despair, and it seems no one in surrounding communities has a clue... People have no idea how bad the situation is. Shul doors left open just hoping someone will clean it out... "