On Wednesday, the storm sputtered over the Great Lakes region, where its strong winds are expected to trigger some lakeside flooding as well as additional snowfall in parts of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
More than 5.3 million customers across the eastern United States were still in the dark Wednesday, down from the nearly 8 million who lost power shortly after the storm hit.
Christie described the damage along the Jersey Shore as "unthinkable."
Akers said crews are trying to get each and every person to shelters from his battered community, which he called he the storm's "ground zero."
Speaking to CNN, Akers' voice cracked a bit as he described the enormity of the destruction and the resolve to rebuild.
"I just want to try to keep the emotion out of it," he said. "For everybody, it's -- this is a loss for everybody ... not just Seaside Heights.
"If there's any good news," he added, "the water (has) receded, the roadways are accessible. But we still have downed power lines. We are not letting anybody in at that particular time."
Some 10,000 Army and Air National Guard forces were on duty in the 13 states affected by the storm.
The Army Corps of Engineers was also helping, deploying water pumps and generators to New York and New Jersey, the U.S. Defense Department said. They're also going to send 80 truckloads of water to West Virginia, where snow generated by the storm has left some areas inaccessible.
Other military branches have also been deployed to help in the storm's aftermath. The U.S. Coast Guard sent airboats normally used for ice rescues in the Great Lakes, and the U.S. Navy was moving three landing ships to the affected coastlines.
Some 730,000 New Yorkers were still in the dark Wednesday night, with utility Con Edison estimating another three days before it can restore power to Manhattan and Brooklyn, and as many as 10 days for other boroughs and the suburb of Westchester.
Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan evacuated its 700 patients because the pumps that supply oil to the generators are in the basement under 8 feet of water, a source familiar with the evacuation plan said.
New York University Langone Medical Center had to evacuate more than 200 patients because of a generator problem a day earlier.
The Lincoln Tunnel was open, but the Holland Tunnel, the other tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, was still full of water. The Port Authority said it can't start pumping out the water until power is restored.
Still, there were hints amid the aftermath Wednesday that New York City was slowly getting back to normal. The New York Stock Exchange reopened after a two-day closure, Broadway's trade association said all shows would be curtains up on Thursday and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday's New York Marathon would go on as scheduled.
"For cooped-up New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors who are staying in hotels and can't get home, now is a great time to see a show!" said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League.
That said, Thursday's game between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn was postponed. And while traffic gridlock returned, for some it was a welcome sign that New Yorkers were at least trying to move forward.