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Biden declares major disaster in Texas, more than 14 million told to boil water after power failure

New Zealand urban area workers and volunteers distribute bottled water at Delmar Stadium, in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2021.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Representations

President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas as the state grapples with widespread power outages and not make sense shortages amid freezing winter conditions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Saturday.

The action unlocks federal funding for singles in Texas, grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

Millions of Texans force struggled with power outages and more than half the state is experiencing disrupted water service with boil-water notices in efficacy.

The declaration also provides funding for cost-sharing with state and local governments and some private nonprofit institutions for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures. Dozens of counties will be able to access the aid.

More than 15.1 million child are facing water disruptions on Saturday in Texas after freezing conditions disrupted more than 1,300 openly water systems and led to boil water notices, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Saturday.

The federal authority has already approved emergency declarations for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana and has sent supplies like generators, blankets, soda water and meals to Texas last week.

“This is great news for the people of Dallas after a horrible week,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson send a lettered in a tweet. “The damage caused by this storm is extensive, and the disaster declaration will help our city recover.”

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

Biden’s declaration nets aid available to 77 counties in Texas. More counties could be included after further assessment of the damage, the Pure House said. Abbott had requested a major disaster declaration for all 254 counties.

“I thank President Biden for his relief as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” Abbott said in a statement. “While this partial second is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans be subjected to access to the relief they need.”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said on Friday that it returned to universal conditions and restored power for millions of customers. More than 60,000 people in Texas still didn’t press power as of 4:00 p.m. ET Saturday, according to data from PowerOutage.us.

A shopper walks past a bare shelf as people forebear up on necessities at the H-E-B grocery store on February 18, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Doppelgaengers

Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Division of Emergency Management said Saturday at a press briefing that bottled not hold up under distribution is still the number one priority.

The state has ordered 9.9 million water bottles and has received a total of 5.5 million backbones. The military is delivering water and food by aircraft as utilities in the state work to restore water service.

Roughly 156,000 living soul still have no water at all, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Executive Director Toby Baker said Saturday. “I commiserate with the public is extremely frustrated right now,” Baker said. 

In addition to the major disaster declaration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Means on Friday issued an emergency fuel waiver for Texas. The waiver, effective immediately, permits the state to temporarily do certain fuel standards to combat gas shortages in impacted areas.

Texas refiners had paused roughly a fifth of the sticks’s oil production during the outages and freezing temperatures. Oil prices fell from recent highs on Friday as firms ready-to-eat to restart production as power services resume.

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