Where do I begin on this Monday? 

Flood-damaged belongings sit on the side of the road in a Union Beach neighborhood devastated by Superstorm Sandy (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

On the plus side thousands of homes and businesses had their power re-stored over the weekend which means lights and heat.  Of course many are still without electricity and after nearly a week of “roughing it” are getting frustrated.  Most have been helped by friends and family members with everything from charging cell phones to taking a hot shower.

As I talked about last week we are proving to be at our best during the worst and signs are everywhere of a renewed spirit to help our fellow man.  Volunteers have emerged from all corners, most not waiting to be asked but just showing up at shelters, collection sites, cleanup locations…anywhere that help was needed.

The Toms River East Little League on Windsor Avenue will be open today through Friday from 10am-2pm and 5-8pm distributing all kinds of relief supplies, including clothing.  They are in need of personal care items, cleaning supplies and paper goods.  Volunteer Bill Castner told me that a husband and wife from Indiana drove a truck full of items 12 hours, dropped them off and then drove 12 hours home.   Simply amazing!

Of course even during these times there are some who will sink to new lows.  There have been isolated cases of looting which is another reason why so many areas are off limits.  There are also those looking to make some extra money including gas stations that have all of a sudden raised their prices.  I’d run out before I would give them my money.

As you might expect rumors have been circulating, partly because at times getting official information has not been easy.  One thing that is not a rumor is word that Seaside Heights may basically be shut down for 6-8 months while the entire gas distribution system is rebuilt.  The borough is planning to let residents return starting later this week on a block by block basis to check out their homes and grab some possessions.  Details will be provided on the borough web site: seaside-heightsnj.org.

In nearby Seaside Park residents can return today and tomorrow only but must first report to Central Regional High School beginning at 9am with proof of residency or rental.  Details are available at seasideparknj.org.

The borough of Beachwood has designated today between 10am-4pm only as “trick or treat” and a chance for the kids to dress up for Halloween.  However parents are asked to escort children and stay away from any areas of fallen trees and debris.