Governor Abbott Announces Counties Added To Winter Storm Mara Federal Disaster Declaration
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has added eight more Texas counties to the federal Major Disaster Declaration for Winter Storm Mara.
“I thank the Federal Emergency Management Agency for updating their federal disaster declaration to include these eight additional Texas counties,” said Governor Abbott. “This update will help support ongoing recovery efforts in Texas communities impacted by Winter Storm Mara in February. The State of Texas continues to work diligently with our federal and local partners to address damage that occurred as a result of this storm, and I look forward to working with FEMA to ensure all qualifying counties are added to the federal disaster declaration.”
Three of the eight counties added—Falls, Hopkins, and Red River—were included in the Governor’s original disaster declaration request sent to President Joe Biden earlier this year. The additional five counties—Anderson, Gillespie, Kerr, Kimble, and Limestone—were approved based on certified damage assessments following the winter storm.
In February, Governor Abbott originally requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 23 Texas counties, of which 13 were initially approved in April. Today's announcement brings the total approved counties in the federal disaster declaration to 21 counties.
A Major Disaster Declaration grants access to FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program, which allows eligible public and non-profit entities in the approved counties to access supplemental grant funding for debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings, equipment and contents, public utilities, parks, recreational, and other facilities. The Major Disaster Declaration also authorizes additional FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program resources to be made available statewide. At the Governor’s direction, TDEM continues to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure all Texas counties meeting federally set PA thresholds are added to this federal disaster declaration.
This is the latest action in the state’s response to and recovery from Winter Storm Mara:
- In mid-April, the federal government approved a Major Disaster Declaration for 13 Texas counties impacted by Winter Storm Mara.
- On February 21, Governor Abbott requested a Major Disaster Declaration for 23 Texas counties impacted by Winter Storm Mara.
- On February 20, Governor Abbott expanded the state’s disaster declaration to include additional Texas counties affected by the ice storm. His initial disaster declaration was issued February 4.
- Governor Abbott directed TDEM to request FEMA provide personnel to certify reported damages through joint preliminary damage assessments in partnership with local and state officials.
- Governor Abbott directed TDEM to deploy specialized teams throughout Texas' recovery to work with utility providers and electric cooperatives in affected areas to capture infrastructure damages and identify potential opportunities for disaster assistance.
- As the winter weather moved through the state, Governor Abbott urged Texans to report ice storm damage to homes and businesses using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT).
- On January 30, the Governor directed TDEM to increase the readiness level of the State Operations Center to Level II (Escalated Response) and mobilize state emergency response resources as winter weather began impacting large portions of Texas.