Biden declares major disaster in Texas

·1-min read

US President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas, which has suffered widespread power blackouts and water shortages during a deadly deep freeze.

Millions of residents in Texas have dealt with power outages, and nearly half of the state's residents on Friday had to endure disrupted water service.

Nearly two dozen deaths have been attributed to the storm and a frigid snap.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the major disaster declaration on Saturday.

It makes federal funding available to individuals across the state, including assistance for temporary housing. home repairs and low-cost loans.

Biden is also weighing a trip to Texas to survey the federal response to the first new crisis to develop since he took office a month ago.

The White House is working closely with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who did not initially acknowledge Biden's November election win.

All the state's power plants had returned to service, although more than 195,000 homes remained without electricity on Friday morning, and residents of 160 of Texas' 254 counties had water service disruptions, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.