President Biden on Saturday affirmed a significant fiasco presentation for Texas, making accessible a more extensive scope of government help for those affected by the extreme winter storm that began on February 11, 2021, and continuing.
The President has approved states of emergency in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana due to the severe winter storms that have killed dozens of people and rendering millions without heat, potable water, or power. As of Friday afternoon, 20 people have died in Houston due to severe weather conditions and sprawling blackouts.
Almost 80,000 electric utility customers in Texas remained in the dark and without heat Saturday morning as the state awoke to temperatures in the 20s. More than 14 million people in 160 counties were still experiencing water-service disruptions as of Friday night, and the impacts of the week’s Arctic cold blast stretched to Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and beyond.
On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state is providing “any and all resources to assist and to accelerate the response at the local level”.
In a statement released by the White House, President Joe Biden said he has ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms.
“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the statement said. Furthermore, the president revealed he plans to visit Texas “as long as his presence is not a burden on relief efforts.”
The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Temperatures are rising but the week’s icy weather is still taking its toll on Texas infrastructure. Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, remained under a boil-water advisory Saturday. Much of Austin, Texas’s capital, lacked running water, and officials could not say when it might return.