President Joe Biden approved aid for 13 counties: Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Hays, Henderson, Kendall, Lee, Leon, Milam, Robertson, Travis and Williamson. In a Feb. 21 letter to the president, Abbott asked for support for 23 counties.
According to a news release, local governments and nonprofit organizations can receive grants to remove debris; repair buildings and infrastructure; create protective measures for future emergencies; and more. Federal funding will also be available for hazard mitigation across Texas.
In February, Abbott said local governments across Texas had reported over $63 million in damages from the ice storm. According to damage reports filed with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, 1,990 homes in North and Central Texas were negatively impacted by the storm in some way, while 831 homes sustained minor damage, 252 had major damage, and six were completely destroyed.
“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,” Abbott said in the release. “Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to support recovery from damage that occurred as a result of this storm.”
According to the White House, other counties may be added to the federal declaration if it is determined that they have sustained enough damage.
Abbott also issued a state disaster declaration in February, which made state resources available to help cities and counties as they responded to the storm.