Biden Declares Federal Disaster In Texas After Winter Storm

President Joe Biden has made a declaration of a federal disaster in Texas after the state faced devastating winter storms.

Storms Hit Texas, Biden Sends Relief

Biden Declares Federal Disaster In Texas, Releases FEMA Resources. FEMA announced federal emergency aid has been made available to the state of Texas to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by a severe winter storm beginning on Feb. 11, 2021 and continuing. The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in 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 counties. 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.” [FEMA]

Gov Greg Abbott Thanks Biden For Declaration. ““I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state. While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need.”” [Abbott]

Millions of Texans Face Power Outages, Water Shortages. “Texans across the state have reported water outages and burst pipes after water lines froze solid. Other residents once again have water coming through their faucets, but at low pressure. As of Friday, more than 14 million people across the state had been asked to boil water in order to guard against possible contamination after water pressure dropped and water treatment was disrupted due to power outages.” [NPR]

Democrats Respond

Biden Will Visit Texas. “Biden plans to visit Texas as soon as next week to assess the federal response. The president said he’ll make a final decision to go after ensuring his presence wouldn’t impede recovery efforts. The administration has been working closely with Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on disaster response.” [CNBC]

AOC And Democrats Raised Over $3 Million In Aid for Texans. “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has helped raise $3.2 million for relief efforts as of Friday night for Texans in need, she said in a press conference Saturday morning alongside Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrats who represent Houston.” [NBC]

Deregulation Role

Texas ERCOT Board Only Spoke About Storm For 40 Minutes. “Bill Magness, president and chief executive officer of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, spoke briefly about the winter weather during his report to the board at the Feb. 9 meeting, the only mention of the incoming storm during the public portion of the virtual meeting, which spanned two hours, 28 minutes. Magness spoke about the approaching cold front for about 40 seconds.” [Austin American Statesman]

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