As entire towns remained without power two days after a historic October snowstorm, the state’s largest utility said Monday that it was stepping up its efforts to restore electricity to more than 700,000 customers still without power as of Monday night.


 Connecticut Light & Power Co.’s chief executive officer said more crews will be arriving in Connecticut each day this week to assist CL&P crews that are restoring power, but officials repeated their warning that it could take more than a week to get power back to everyone.


 While local officials sought answers to when utility crews would begin working in their towns, people struggling without power at their homes crisscrossed their communities in search of open grocery stores, coffee shops and gas stations — and hotels with vacancies. Rooms were so scarce that some hotels helped people find lodging in Rhode Island.


 As many as 884,000 customers lost power after Saturday’s storm, which dropped up to 20 inches of wet, heavy snow in some parts of the state.


 “Road clearing is a massive effort,” Jeffrey Butler, CL&P’s president and CEO, said Monday evening in a briefing at the state armory. Town and state crews are working to clear fallen trees and limbs from roads, but can’t do so in many cases until wires are checked by power company crews.


 “We expect the pace of restoration to quicken as damage assessments are completed, blocked roads are cleared, and additional crews arrive to help with the effort,” Butler said. Restoration will take a week or more in some areas, he said.


 Also Monday, President Barack Obama declared that an emergency exists in Connecticut. Federal aid will be available for costs associated with the storm.


 “This is a first stage declaration,’’ Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “There are other stages which we will continue to work on which would allow for reimbursement of expenditures by state and local governments, but this is a good first start and I want to thank the president as well as our congressional delegation for their help.”


 Malloy toured the state by helicopter Monday to view the damage.


 Obama’s declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts. Specifically, FEMA is authorized “to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,’’ according to the announcement by the White House.