North Texans Affected By Winter Storms Can Apply For FEMA Aid

Texas residents in many areas of the state are now able to apply for federal assistance if they were affected by the historic and devastating winter storms this week.

Video Transcript

- For those around North Texas facing damages from this week's winter storms, you could be eligible for federal aid. It comes as President Joe Biden partially approved a major disaster declaration for the state. As our Nicole Nielsen reports, the repair costs are beginning to climb.

KATIE RAMSEY: You don't think it's going to happen to you until it does.

NICOLE NIELSEN: The winter storms may be behind us. But for many, the damage will linger.

KATIE RAMSEY: I get a phone call from my neighbor saying there is water gushing out of the house. And then I walk in. There's insulation on the floor. The ceilings have come down. Everything was destroyed.

NICOLE NIELSEN: Despite taking protective precautions, Katie Ramsey walked into her Keller home on Tuesday night to a foot of water in every room.

KATIE RAMSEY: You know, the damages, we're looking at, like, $180,000 right now. That's not even, you know, the final price, including furniture, like, valuables-- like, my Apple Watch was just floating in water.

NICOLE NIELSEN: All of her belongings gone in an instant. She's now staying at a hotel for at least the next three months while repairs are being made. But it's the cost of those repairs that can leave many facing similar damages overwhelmed.

KATIE RAMSEY: And everything was just, like, wiped away. I'm sorry, but it's a lot.

NICOLE NIELSEN: Now, relief in the form of a federal aid is being made available to those with damages by FEMA. It comes after President Joe Biden approved individual assistance to 77 of Texas's 254 counties, including Tarrant, Dallas, Collin, and Denton. You can apply for low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and grants to cover home repairs and temporary housing.

They say to take photos of the damage, make a list of what needs repair, file a claim with insurance, if you have it, and then apply. Any uncovered damage may be eligible.

KATIE RAMSEY: FEMA, knowing that, OK, it's OK if insurance isn't going to cover it, I'll have a backup plan, right, I think that's great.

NICOLE NIELSEN: The goal is to help homeowners like Katie get through this.

KATIE RAMSEY: It is a burden lifted off of my shoulders that I have extra resources.

NICOLE NIELSEN: In Fort Worth, Nicole Nielsen, CBS 11 News.