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Biden set to make first visit as president to disaster area following Texas winter storm

Winter Weather Texas Deepfreeze snow
Posted at 11:15 PM, Feb 25, 2021

The White House released details Thursday night of President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Houston on Friday following last week’s deadly winter storm and extreme cold that prompted millions of power outages and water shortages.

The trip will mark Biden’s first visit to an area affected by natural disaster since his inauguration.

The president and first lady Jill Biden are set to visit the Houston Food Bank to package food and water for Houston residents. They will then meet with volunteers of the food bank.

The president is then expected to deliver remarks at FEMA’s COVID-19 vaccination facility at NRG Stadium.

Biden addressed his visit to Texas during a call with the nation’s governors on Thursday.

“FEMA was already on the ground providing support for COVID-19 vaccination efforts. So they were able to move quickly to supply generators, food, blankets, and, most importantly, water,” Biden said.

“It’s clear that even when the immediate crisis passes, there’s going to be more work to be done to help constituents recover,” Biden added. “And my administration will be there every step of the way with you because when people in this country need help, they’re not Democrats or Republicans; they’re all Americans”

White House press secretary Psaki told reporters that Biden will meet with local officials to discuss recovery and relief efforts in the state.

Biden declared a federal major disaster for Texas, allowing residents to claim non-insured damages. By Tuesday, 110 Texas counties have had their major disaster declaration requests approved. Gov. Greg Abbott requested all 254 counties be considered as major disasters.

While power is back on nearly everywhere in Texas, the economic damage is expected to be in the billions.

FEMA said it provided 60 generators, 10,000 gallons of winterized diesel and 10,000 gallons of gasoline to support critical infrastructure. FEMA said it coordinated flights of water throughout Texas and provided over 4 million liters of water, more than 126,900 blankets and more than 1 million meals.