US President Joe Biden declared on Saturday a major disaster in Texas, after severe winter storms plunged the state into an unusual deep freeze that left millions shivering in homes that lost heat and power, and in many, running water.
At least 69 deaths across the US have been attributed to the blast of unseasonable weather which began on February 11 and also affected Texas' neighboring states.
Snow blanketed the usually warm Texas, where recently temperatures ranged from 28 to minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 to minus 22 Celsius).
Biden ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the affected areas.
"Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster," the White House said in a statement.
“They're working like the devil to take care of their folks,” Biden said of Texas officials.
Tonight, I called Governor Greg Abbott to discuss the ongoing situation in Texas and identify ways we can support the state’s recovery from this storm. I made clear to the Governor that I’ll work relentlessly to get his state what they need. pic.twitter.com/UBwH8DMep2— President Biden (@POTUS) February 19, 2021
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has shipped dozens of generators and supplies, including fuel, water, blankets and ready-to-eat meals, to the affected areas.
- With The Associated Press