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Gov. Greg Abbott issues ice storm disaster declaration

The governor said the declaration will allow the State to provide additional assistance to Texans and communities who have experienced property damage.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday, Feb. 4, issued a disaster declaration for Texas counties impacted by this month’s ice storm. The governor said the declaration will allow the State to provide additional assistance to Texans and communities who have experienced property damage and power outages.

The disaster declaration includes Denton, Hays, Henderson, Milam, Smith, Travis and Williamson counties. On Monday, Feb. 20, additional counties were added to the declaration as damage assessments were completed. Those counties include Anderson, Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Delta, Falls, Hopkins, Hunt, Kendall, Lamar, Lee, Leon, Red River, Robertson and Shelby counties. 

“As the scope of damages sustained during the recent ice storm becomes clearer, it is important we continue to assist and provide full support to all impacted communities,” said Gov. Abbott. "The addition of these counties to our disaster declaration will ensure Texas communities have all resources available to them as they continue to recover from this storm. I thank TDEM and our emergency response partners for working to meet the needs of Texans during this recovery process."

Abbott said repairs to damaged infrastructure, the disposal of debris and damage assessments are underway and ongoing.

This month, the governor urged Texans to report ice storm damage to homes and businesses using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT). The iSTAT damage survey can be filled out in English and Spanish online by visiting damage.tdem.texas.gov and clicking on “Ice Storm/Winter Weather January 29 - Ongoing."

The details and photos provided in the iSTAT damage reports help emergency management officials determine if the State meets federal requirements for additional disaster assistance. The submitted information also aids officials in identifying resource needs. Reporting damage through the iSTAT survey is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency, the governor’s office said. It does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.

Last week, the governor directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to request the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide personnel to certify reported damages through joint preliminary damage assessments in partnership with local and state officials. Additionally, TDEM has deployed specialized teams throughout Texas's recovery to work with utility providers and electric cooperatives in affected areas to capture infrastructure damages and identify potential opportunities for disaster assistance, the Governor's Office said.

On Monday, Jan. 30, Gov. Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to increase the readiness level of the State Operations Center to Level II (Escalated Response) and mobilized State emergency response resources as winter weather began impacting large portions of Texas. The next day, the governor provided an update on the State of Texas's response to the severe winter weather conditions at a press conference in Austin.

Read the Governor’s disaster declaration.

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