Biden declares major disaster in Texas, boosting federal aid as state struggles with fallout from power outages

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Employees of the city of Houston pass out free cases of water after the city of Houston implemented a boil water advisory following an unprecedented winter storm, at Delmar Stadium in Houston, Texas, February 19, 2021.

Callaghan O’Hare | Reuters

President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas as the state grapples with widespread power outages and water shortages amid freezing winter conditions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Saturday.

The action provides federal funding for individuals in Texas, grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. The president plans to visit Texas as soon as next week to assess the federal response to the crisis.

Millions of Texans have struggled with power outages and more than half the state is now experiencing disrupted water service.

The federal government has already approved emergency declarations for Texas and other states impacted by the winter storm and sent supplies like generators, blankets and water to Texas last week.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said on Friday that it returned to normal conditions and restored power for millions of customers. More than 78,000 customers in Texas still did not have power as of 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning, according to the latest data from PowerOutage.us.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



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