Gov. Abbott: Texans can apply for funding through FEMA if damage is not covered by insurance

Key takeaways from Gov. Abbott's live press conference Friday afternoon

VICTORIA, Texas- Governor Abbott went live at 3 p.m. Friday to provide updates about the State’s response to the aftermath of the snowstorm this week.

Gov. Abbot said he spoke with President Biden Thursday night and Biden confirmed that he will approve the Emergency Declaration that Abbott submitted Thursday. This declaration will allow Texans to apply for FEMA funds to cover damage due to snowstorms that their insurance companies won’t cover.

There are no longer any power outages due to lack of power generation Gov. Abbot said. However downed lines are the cause of numerous outages that remain in the state. He said there about 10,000-20,000 power generations occur every hour.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) is setting up a phone bank to help municipalities get access to mobile water testing labs to ensure the safety of water supplies before removing the Boil Water Notice.

Busted water pipes are the next major concern. The Governor encouraged Texans to look first to your insurance company for help covering damage. Then reach out to FEMA if you’re not covered by your insurance.

As of noon Friday more than 320 plumbers have renewed their license, and many out-of-state plumbing companies have voluntarily come to Texas to assist in the plumbing restoration efforts.

New diesel supply lines will be used. Gov. Abbot is allowing the use of off-road diesel and all forms of diesel to keep truckers moving to bring food and supplies to stores and businesses.

Gov. Abbott is working with various farming and agriculture associations to make sure they have the supplies and support they need to help with the loss of crops due to the storm. Governor Greg Abbott has requested a USDA disaster designation for three counties in the valley that lost crops due to the snowstorm this week. The counties are Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy, the office of the Governor shared in a statement. This designation would make federal assistance, such as emergency loans, available to agricultural producers who have suffered losses in designated counties, as well as in counties that are contiguous to a designated county.

A number of waivers have been signed by Gov. Abbott to get refineries back up and running.

TDEM Chief Nim Kidd provided updates as well. He said that bottled water is being delivered all over the state. Water is also being delivered to hospitals.

Toby Baker, a representative with TCEQ also added that public water systems can seek help from TCEQ to get access to lab testing for water supply. Once the proper water tests have been conducted, and no harmful bacteria is found in the water supply then the Boil Water Notice can be lifted.

More information is available on the Governor’s website.