Abbott issues disaster declaration following Texas ice storm

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a disaster declaration on Saturday for seven counties, including Austin, that were hit particularly hard by last week’s winter storm.

“Through this disaster declaration, we will be able to provide additional assistance to Texans and communities who have experienced property damage and localized power outages from this ice storm,” Abbott said in a statement.

A severe ice storm swept across Texas and several other southern states last week, causing at least 10 deaths in three states and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

As of Saturday night, more than 90,000 Texans remained without power, primarily near Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to

The counties included in the disaster declaration — currently Denton, Hays, Henderson, Milam, Smith, Travis, and Williamson counties — could expand as the state continues to assess the damage from the storm, the governor’s office added.

As Texas recovers from its ice storm, the Northeast remains in the thick of a cold blast that has brought wind chills below negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Mount Washington in New Hampshire recorded the nation’s lowest ever reported wind chill of negative 109 degrees on Friday night.

Temperatures are expected to begin rising again in the Northeast on Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

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