Biden approves major disaster declaration for Texas

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Feb 20, 2021, 09:26 PM(IST)

Cars line up in Texas to receive free cases of boiled water Photograph:( Reuters )

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Biden is also weighing a trip to Texas to survey the federal response to the first new crisis to develop since he took office a month ago. The White House is working closely with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who did not initially acknowledge Biden’s November election win.

US President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas which has suffered widespread power blackouts and water shortages during a deep freeze, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Saturday.

The action makes federal funding available to individuals across the state, including assistance for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans.

The winter storm has left millions without heat, food or safe drinking water. At least 30 people have died in Texas since Sunday, according to the Washington Post, due to the storm and a frigid snap.

Biden is also weighing a trip to Texas to survey the federal response to the first new crisis to develop since he took office a month ago. The White House is working closely with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who did not initially acknowledge Biden’s November election win.

All the state’s power plants had returned to service, although more than 195,000 homes remained without electricity on Friday morning, and residents of 160 of Texas’ 254 counties had water service disruptions, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Half of the state is under a boil-water advisory after water treatment centers experienced blackouts. Even those with access to safe water have been told to turn off their water, for fear thawing pipes will burst, causing flooding.

(with inputs)

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