President Joe Biden approved Friday evening a declaration of a major disaster in the state of Texas after a series of winter storms damaged critical infrastructure.
The new disaster declaration for Texas allows federal funding to assist affected areas, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to help cover uninsured property losses, according to the White House.
Dozens of Texans have died after several days of winter weather crippled the power grid, burst water pipes, and left residents freezing in their homes.
The president ramped up his response to the disaster in Texas in recent days after remaining publicly silent about the crisis for several days. On Thursday, Biden shared three social media posts addressing the crisis, six days after it began.
On Friday, Biden told reporters that he was “a president of all Americans” and would visit Texas in the upcoming days if he could do so “without creating a burden for folks.”
“FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] is already there and providing support,” he added.
FEMA officials said Thursday that they had provided 60 generators as well as food, water, and blankets to affected areas.
Last week, White House officials repeatedly assured reporters that Biden was “keeping abreast” of the crisis behind the scenes, as he spoke with governors of affected states on the phone. On Sunday, Biden also approved a state of emergency declaration in Texas.
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