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Biden approves disaster declaration for Texas

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BIDEN (Friday): "It's a different declaration, a major disaster declaration."

U.S. President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Texas on Saturday.

Nearly two dozen deaths have been linked to the deep freeze. Millions of Texas residents have dealt with power outages amid the cold, and nearly half of all Texans are suffering from disruptions to their water service.

Like Forth-Worth resident Linda Binion, who said water was frozen in her pipes:

“I have no water coming into my house whatsoever… I’ve got six little ones that i need to take care of.”

Biden’s disaster declaration makes federal funding available to individuals across the state, including assistance for temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans.

Biden is also weighing a trip to Texas to survey the federal response.

New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was in Houston, Saturday, volunteering at a food bank with lawmakers Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia.

Ocasio-Cortez also partnered with Texas relief organizations in a fundraising mission.

“We hit 3.2 million dollars in assistance for Texans across the state just last night. And I think this shows that New York stands with you, but the whole country stands with you.”

Jackson Lee spoke of the severity of the crisis:

“We were getting calls from children, adult children whose parents lived in older homes, left behind, that were trying to get them out of the freezing conditions because they thought they might die during the night. That was unacceptable and unnecessary.”

All the state's power plants had returned to service, although more than 78,000 homes remained without electricity as of Saturday morning.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: It's a different declaration, a major disaster declaration.

- US President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Texas on Saturday. Nearly two dozen deaths have been linked to the deep freeze. Millions of Texas residents have dealt with power outages, and nearly half of all Texans are suffering from disruptions to their water service, like Fort Worth resident Linda Binion, who said water was frozen in her pipes.

LINDA BINION: But I have no water coming in my home whatsoever. I've got six little ones that I need to take care of.

- Biden's disaster declaration makes federal funding available to individuals across the state, including assistance for temporary housing, home repairs, and low-cost loans. Biden is also weighing a trip to Texas to survey the federal response.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was in Houston Saturday, volunteering at a food bank with lawmakers Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia. Ocasio-Cortez also partnered with Texas relief organizations in a fundraising mission.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: We hit $3.2 million in assistance for Texans across the state just last night. And I think this shows that New York stands with you, but the whole country stands with you.

- Jackson Lee spoke of the severity of the crisis.

SHEILA JACKSON LEE: We were getting calls from children, adult children whose parents live in older homes, left behind, that were trying to get them out of the freezing conditions because they thought they might die during the night. That was unacceptable and unnecessary.

- All of the state's power plants had returned to service, although more than 78,000 homes remained without electricity as of Saturday morning.