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Texas governor calls major disaster declaration "an important first step"

February 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 24.7%. 2 min read.

AUSTIN, TX - MAY 18: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on May 18, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Abbott said that childcare facilities, youth camps, some professional sports, and bars may now begin to fully or partially reopen their facilities as outlined by regulations listed on the Open Texas website. (Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thanked President Biden for approving a major disaster declaration for the state but noted that the declaration was short of what he asked for.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thanked President Biden for approving a major disaster declaration for the state but noted that the declaration was short of what he asked for.

"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," Abbott said in a statement released today.

Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, spoke at a news conference outside the Houston Food Bank where they said they plan to help Texans affected by the winter storm.

"You know, we really need to make sure that we're getting food and assistance to people across the state, as was mentioned here, at the Houston Food Bank, no questions are asked," Ocasio-Cortez said.

President Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas, unlocking more federal resources to assist the state.

Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and 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 on Saturday.

Biden already approved an emergency declaration for the state last weekend, but the major disaster declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide more resources and assistance, including, for example, supplementing insurance to help individuals with uncovered costs or other costs to make homes habitable.

An unprecedented winter storm left four million people without power across Texas this week, and put nearly half of the state's residents under a boil-water advisory.

Unprecedented winter storms blanketed Texas, causing bitter cold temperatures and widespread power outages throughout much of the state.

President Biden has declared a state of emergency, which makes people eligible for federal assistance.

In a statement emailed to CNN, Rasp said that more than 1,300 public water systems have reported service disruptions due to weather.

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