Diners and Hotels Packed in Monroe County

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STROUDSBURG -- The number of license plates from New Jersey and New York might be at an all-time high in Monroe County. Many evacuees from the storm have fled to the Stroudsburg area.

Local businesses are struggling to keep enough coffee hot and find empty rooms for those in need.

Orders are coming in just as fast as the kitchen can send them out at Compton's Pancake House in Monroe County. The diner in Stroudsburg has been hectic ever since the power turned back on, while thousands of homes are still in the dark.

"It's been nuts, but all Compton wants to do is help the people, and we're glad that we're open that we can help them," said hostess Christine Bleskachak.

James and Deborah Malone sat down to a warm meal after they fled their home on Coney Island, and are feeling rather lucky.

"A blessing, a blessing, it could have been worse. I feel really bad for the people who have suffered, lost their homes," said Malone.

Just up the road at The Arlington Diner, Tom Pengilly sat down to his second hot meal since Sandy hit their home, causing massive damage.

"Probably about 11 or so trees laying on our house. A tornado went through the back of our house and tore a path as wide as, like, a football field. It just chopped trees in half like toothpicks," said Pangilly.

The diner's owner said they just reopened, and had to throw out about $1,000 of bad food.

"I think we're giving people a sense of comfort to come in and get something warm to eat to warm up and unfortunately go back to their cold homes, but fortunately it gives them a moment of happiness," said owner George Halas.

A warm place to stay is even harder to come by. The Holiday Inn in Stroudsburg is booked through Sunday, and that's the same story throughout all of town.

"Wednesday after 3,  the power came on, we sold out in 45 minutes, and it hasn't stopped," said Holiday Inn Express Front Desk Manager Katie McGarry.

Corey Chatlos escaped to the Poconos Wednesday from New Jersey and said he was lucky to snag one of these rooms.

"I actually called about 40 places until I got this location, and I was told they actually just got power, and we were one of the last rooms to be booked," said Chatlos.

Chatlos and many others still feeling Sandy's effects said you just don't realize how important a hot shower and some hot coffee can be until you're forced to go without.