Biden partially approves Abbott's major disaster declaration request for Texas ice storm

President Joe Biden has partially approved Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's request for a Major Disaster Declaration for counties impacted by the recent ice storm.

Abbott originally requested assistance for 23 counties, but says the White House has approved access to FEMA's public assistance program for just 13, including Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Delta, Denton, Falls, Hays, Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kendall, Lamar, Lee, Leon, Milam, Red River, Robertson, Shelby, Smith, Travis, and Williamson counties.

The presidential approval grants eligibility for jurisdictions in those approved counties to FEMA's program, which includes supplemental grant funding to eligible public and nonprofit 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.


The approval also authorizes additional FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program resources to be made available statewide, says Abbott's office.

"I thank President Biden for his administration's assistance as Texas continues to help communities impacted by Winter Storm Mara earlier this year," said Abbott in a release. "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."

Abbott has also directed TDEM to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure all other counties that meet their federally-set PA thresholds are added to this federal declaration.