Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information from a statement from President Joe Biden.

After Hurricane Beryl hit the Texas coast July 8, President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for the state, according to a July 9 news release from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

What residents need to know

According to the release, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is acting governor while Gov. Greg Abbott is overseas in Asia, requested and was granted federal assistance for the state of Texas, including:
  • Category A: debris
  • Category B: emergency protective measures
“[The Federal Emergency Management Agency's] assistance with these costs will expedite the recovery process and help ensure the safety of Texans impacted by Hurricane Beryl,” Patrick said in the release.

As cleanup efforts begin, debris removal will be key in returning to recovery efforts, TDEM Chief Nim Kidd said at a July 9 news conference. The emergency declaration will grant 75% reimbursement for debris cleanup for affected counties, he said.

“We will be working to make sure the debris will be picked up as fast as possible. Please ... pay attention to your local government regulations for that,” he said.

Zooming in

The declaration covers 67 Texas counties, including these six counties in Community Impact’s Houston coverage area:
  • Brazoria
  • Fort Bend
  • Galveston
  • Harris
  • Montgomery
  • Waller
What they’re saying

With federal aid unlocked, Texas will have access to vital resources and support while recovering and rebuilding following Hurricane Beryl, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a statement on Facebook.

“I appreciate President Biden’s relentless commitment to our community and to pushing for quick action on all levels of government so that we can receive this help in record time,” Hidalgo said in the statement. “Our community has been battered over the past few months, and this is a big ray of hope for us.”

Looking ahead

As recovery efforts continue, President Biden said the biggest concerns are the extreme heat coupled with a large number of power outages, according to a July 9 news release from The White House.

To combat heat, Biden said FEMA has prepositioned generators and is working to bring additional ones to the area, citing that extreme heat kills more Americans than all other natural disasters combined.

“With this major disaster declaration in place, we will provide life-saving and life-sustaining activities, and any other federal resource that Texas needs,” Biden said in the release. “We will be with the people of Texas for as long as it takes to recover.”