"We know that Staten Island took a particularly hard hit from Sandy," said Napolitano. "We want to make sure that the right resources are brought here as quickly as possible."
Ahead of her visit, Napolitano issued a temporary waiver of the Jones Act, a move that allows oil tankers coming in from the Gulf of Mexico to enter Northeastern ports to relieve fuel shortages.
"The administration's highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and this waiver will remove a potential obstacle to bringing additional fuel to the storm-damaged region," she said.
The move also waives clean air admission requirements, allowing more refined oil to be brought into the region, though where it goes from there is unclear.
"Just getting the product there doesn't get it to the retail site," said Fugate. "Many of the gas stations don't have power."
Worst-hit New York state suffered 48 deaths, including 41 in New York City, authorities said. Twenty of the dead were killed in Staten Island, where the latest deaths included two boys ages 4 and 2, ripped from their mother's arms by floodwater.
In addition to the human toll, the price for damage is stunning: between $30 billion and $50 billion, according to disaster modeling firm EQECAT.
That far exceeds EQECAT's pre-storm estimate of $20 billion.
Authorities scrambled to restore basic services, including hobbled transportation.
Amtrak said modified service was to resume Friday between Boston and Washington via New York City. In New York City, limited subway service resumed Thursday. A flotilla of 4,000 buses is taking up the slack.
Neighboring New Jersey, which suffered 13 deaths linked to the storm, planned to restore limited rail service Friday.
In areas where entire neighborhoods remain dark, utilities worked to restore services.
Con Edison, a New York utility company, has passed the "halfway mark," having restored approximately 460,000 of the 910,000 customers who were affected by Sandy, according to John Miksad, senior vice president of electric operations.
"We're doing our damnedest to get our power back as quickly as possible," he said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a letter to utilities, warned of consequences if authorities discover they failed to prepare properly.
"Under such circumstances, I would direct the Public Service Commission to commence a proceeding to revoke your certificates," he wrote.
Under scrutiny, the New York City Marathon -- scheduled for Sunday -- was canceled, the city's mayor said Friday.
"While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.
"We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event -- even one as meaningful as this -- to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
The superstorm also dumped up to 3 feet of snow in West Virginia and Maryland, leaving thousands without power.
The National Weather Service predicted a nor'easter next week from the mid-Atlantic states into New England. But the forecast said the storm would be far weaker than Sandy.