AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday prioritized the restoration of water and energy to hundreds of Texas houses nonetheless left dry and chilly after this week’s winter storm.
“This past week has been an enormous challenge, maybe unlike any challenge that you’ve ever dealt with before,” Abbott mentioned. “It has been far too burdensome for the lives of all those affected.”
Abbott mentioned about 165,000 houses are nonetheless with out energy, largely in Central Texas. None of these outages are the results of the state-mandated blackout that left thousands and thousands of Texans at nighttime for almost every week. He mentioned the remaining outages are the results of downed energy traces or the need of a handbook connection to the ability grid.
The governor additionally mentioned the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is working to expedite lab exams for water methods which might be coming again on-line and are required to check the water earlier than lifting boil water notices. He mentioned TCEQ is opening a hotline at 5 p.m. for native governments to find applicable labs that may fulfill these requests. More details about the hotline can be posted on the TCEQ website.
Abbott additionally mentioned officers are working to transfer meals and provides to the hardest-hit areas, one thing with which Texas has a number of expertise. He has allowed the usage of off-road diesel in vans on state roads in order that meals and provides might be moved as shortly as potential.
Refineries and the state’s gas provide are different priorities for Abbott. He mentioned the state is working with refinery operators to carry these vegetation again on-line as shortly and safely as potential.
Abbott mentioned President Joe Biden informed him he’ll signal a significant catastrophe declaration for Texas, which is able to open the doorways to assist from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for house and business homeowners who’ve sustained harm from the storm.
The governor mentioned property or business homeowners who’ve sustained harm ought to contact their insurance coverage firms as quickly as potential to get the claims course of began. He mentioned federal assist would solely kick in for bills that aren’t coated by insurance coverage.
The state has additionally arrange a disaster impacts self-reporting tool. The purpose is to establish damages throughout the state so officers can get a greater thought of the scope of the catastrophe.
Abbott mentioned he has additionally requested an emergency declaration from the federal Department of Agriculture to assist farmers impacted by the storm.
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