President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for much of Texas as the state reels from a severe winter storm that left millions of people without power amid freezing temperatures.
Biden's action makes federal funding available to communities across 77 counties, including hard-hit Harris County, where Houston is located. Additional disaster designations may be made after further damage assessments, the White House said Saturday morning in a statement.
“I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “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.”
Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Division of Emergency Management said Saturday afternoon that the state's goal is to eventually add all 254 counties under the major disaster declaration.