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President Biden approves major disaster declaration for Texas in wake of winter storm

The approval clears the way for grants and low-cost loans for Texans impacted by winter weather.

WASHINGTON — More help is on the way to Texas in wake of the devastating and deadly winter storm that affected all parts of the state this week.

Editor's note: Video above is from Friday's update from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

President Biden approved the state’s request for a major disaster declaration. That makes federal funding available for people affected by the storm in the following counties: 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.

Gov. Abbott thanked the president, saying it's a big step for the state's recovery.

"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," said Governor Abbott in a release Saturday. "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. The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”

The help may include grants for temporary housing and home repair, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to get Texans back on their feet.

You can begin applying for help online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

There’s also federal help available to state, tribal, eligible local governments and some nonprofit organizations.

President Biden is expected to visit Texas at some point next week, though a date hasn't been set.  The president said he doesn't want to be a distraction to the recovery efforts.


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