President Biden Partially Approves Governor Abbott’s Request For Major Disaster Declaration
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that President Joe Biden partially approved the state's request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Texas counties impacted by the effects of icy conditions and winter weather from Winter Storm Mara earlier this year.
"I thank President Biden for his administration's assistance as Texas continues to help communities impacted by Winter Storm Mara earlier this year," said Governor Abbott. "This partial approval of my Major Disaster Declaration request submitted to the President in February is a critical first step to helping Texans recover from this severe weather event. Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to support recovery from damage that occurred as a result of this storm."
Out of the 23 counties in the Governor's request to President Biden in February, the White House approved access to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) program for the following 13 counties: Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Hays, Henderson, Kendall, Lee, Leon, Milam, Robertson, Travis, and Williamson.
This presidential approval grants eligibility for jurisdictions in the approved counties to FEMA’s PA program, which includes supplemental grant funding to eligible public and non-profit entities for debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings, equipment and contents, public utilities, parks, recreational, and other facilities. This approval also authorizes additional FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program resources to be made available statewide.
Additionally, the Governor has directed TDEM to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure all other Texas counties that meet their federally-set PA thresholds are added to this federal declaration.
This is the latest action in the state’s response and recovery to 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 31, the Governor provided an update on the state of Texas’ response to the severe winter weather conditions at a press conference from the SOC.
- This is the latest action in the state’s response and recovery to Winter Storm Mara:
- On January 30, the Governor directed TDEM to increase the readiness level of the State Operations Center (SOC) to Level II (Escalated Response) and mobilize state emergency response resources as winter weather began impacting large portions of Texas.