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Federal government partially approves Gov. Abbott's request for major disaster declaration

The governor said the declaration will allow for additional assistance to Texans and communities who have experienced property damage from February's ice storm.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday, Feb. 4, issued a disaster declaration for Texas counties impacted by this month’s ice storm. The governor said the declaration will allow the State to provide additional assistance to Texans and communities who have experienced property damage and power outages.

The disaster declaration includes Denton, Hays, Henderson, Milam, Smith, Travis and Williamson counties. On Monday, Feb. 20, additional counties were added to the declaration as damage assessments were completed. Those counties include Anderson, Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Delta, Falls, Hopkins, Hunt, Kendall, Lamar, Lee, Leon, Red River, Robertson and Shelby counties. 

“As the scope of damages sustained during the recent ice storm becomes clearer, it is important we continue to assist and provide full support to all impacted communities,” said Gov. Abbott. "The addition of these counties to our disaster declaration will ensure Texas communities have all resources available to them as they continue to recover from this storm. I thank TDEM and our emergency response partners for working to meet the needs of Texans during this recovery process."

Abbott said repairs to damaged infrastructure, the disposal of debris and damage assessments were underway and ongoing.

In February, the governor urged Texans to report ice storm damage to homes and businesses using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT). The iSTAT damage survey can be filled out in English and Spanish online by visiting damage.tdem.texas.gov and clicking on “Ice Storm/Winter Weather January 29 - Ongoing."

The details and photos provided in the iSTAT damage reports help emergency management officials determine if the State meets federal requirements for additional disaster assistance. The submitted information also aids officials in identifying resource needs. Reporting damage through the iSTAT survey is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency, the governor’s office said. It does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.

On Saturday, April 22, Gov. Abbott said President Joe Biden had partially approved the State's request for a Major Disaster Declaration for counties impacted by the storm.

Of the 23 counties in the request to President Biden in February, the White House approved access to FEMA's Public Assistance program for 13 counties, 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.  

"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."

The presidential approval grants eligibility for jurisdictions in the approved counties to FEMA’s 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.

Read the Governor’s disaster declaration.

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