PLYMOUTH, Vt. — Generators were still roaring, muddy carpets needed to be pulled up and road access was limited into downtown Plymouth today, but two business owners clapped and cheered when a mail carrier drove in with the daily delivery.

It was a tiny sign of normalcy in a town where the only electricity comes from generators.

Recovery efforts in Plymouth and across the state were well under way today, four days after the remnants of Hurricane Irene first sent raging torrents of water through some towns.

Out-of-state utility crews rolled through Plymouth and worked to get the electricity back on. Repairs were being made to Route 100, the main highway into town.

Ayal Baran was pulling up ruined carpets in the bar area of his business, the Salt Ash Inn, which remained caked in mud from when mountain runoff gushed through on Sunday. The damage is so extensive he’s not sure where to start.

“I’ve been trying to pump the basement a little, but the water table is so high it just refills,” Baran said.

State officials still don’t have a firm estimate of how much it will cost or how long it will take to repair damaged infrastructure. There is also no tally of the homes and personal property that were destroyed in the flooding that killed three and left one missing.

Hundreds of Vermont roads and scores of bridges were damaged or destroyed by flooding Sunday and Monday that left about a dozen communities with no road access, electricity or phone service.

At its peak, about 85,000 Vermont utility customers were without power. By this afternoon the number was down to about 4,000 customers, the vast majority in Windsor County mountain towns.

On Monday, state officials estimated more than 260 state roads were out of service, either because they were underwater or damaged. Today, there were 77 state closures, which included 25 bridges, said Agency of Transportation Planning and Policy Director Chris Cole.

The number of closed local roads has gone up, from 130 to 163, but that’s more a function of learning about the problems, not new damage, he said.

“We are making progress every day. We are opening up roads each and every hour. We are throwing everything we can at this thing,” Cole said. “We are going to be successful in rebuilding these communities and getting them access to the rest of Vermont.”

The Vermont National Guard’s helicopter airlift operation to bring food, water and other supplies to isolated communities is winding down. Today, about 10 helicopters were being used to ferry supplies provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Peter Shumlin formally asked President Barack Obama to declare Vermont a major disaster area. Such a declaration would make the state eligible for federal assistance with repairs to public infrastructure such as roads and bridges. It would also help individuals and businesses pay for repairs, temporary housing, essential household items, medical costs and other needs stemming from the flooding.

The process supplements the Emergency Declaration for Federal Assistance, which the president signed on Monday and which provides immediate assistance for emergency relief efforts.

Today, FairPoint Communications said it had restored phone service to the center of Rochester, one of the communities left isolated by the storm.

Back in Plymouth, Baran and business owner Tesha Buss, who runs a boutique retreat, are thinking of their livelihoods now that the immediate threats have passed.

“I have 17 rooms. The rooms are largely untouched. I have 17 rooms, which were booked for the weekends. Obviously, I can’t have people here,” Baran said.

Buss’s retreat, Good Commons, was barely damaged, but Plymouth’s isolation means business won’t be bouncing back for her anytime soon.

“It looks like such a disaster zone, I couldn’t bring them here,” Buss said of her customers.