Biden declares major disaster in storm-ravaged Texas

2021-02-23 12:09:24

  Volunteers pack emergency distribution boxes at the Houston Food Bank on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas. [Photo/Agencies] WASHINGTON - US President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in the southern US state of Texas so as to allow the federal government to provide more resources and assistance to the state hit heavily by severe winter storms, the White House said on Saturday. With the declaration on Friday, Biden "ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms beginning on February 11, 2021, and continuing," the White House said in a written statement. Assistance includes 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 disaster, said the statement. Biden said on Friday that he plans to visit Texas next week but will only go when he determines his presence won't be a "burden". Severe winter storms have caused a massive blackout in Texas for days. As of Friday afternoon, there were still over 170,000 people out of power in the state boasting abundant oil and gas.