Biden reiterates support for Texas in call with Gov. Abbott over winter storm crisis, White House says
Texas Gov. Dan Patrick reacts to the state's energy crisis after it was ravaged by a winter storm.
Abbott in an earlier news conference said he would ask Biden to declare a major disaster declaration to help residents whose homes have been damaged by the Arctic storm that has left dozens dead in the state, according to KSAT-TV in San Antonio.
The governor called on state lawmakers to mandate the winterization of power generators and for the modernization of the grid, KSAT reported.
"All of us agree on the necessity of action," Abbott told reporters. "Not just the action taken to restore your power but an action to ensure that you never have to endure anything like this ever again."
On Sunday, the president approved a federal emergency declaration in Texas, moving resources and supplies to Texas as the storm hammered the state.
A power grid failure this week forced the state’s operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, to enact day’s-long blackouts in the state and nearly 13 million Texans have also been advised to boil their drinking water.
During the phone call, the president reiterated that the federal government will continue to work with authorities in Texas "to bring relief and address the critical needs of the families affected," a White House readout of the call said.
Biden "also shared his intentions to instruct additional federal agencies to look into any immediate steps that could be taken to support Texans at this time," the White House said, adding the administration is ready to give further assistance to Texas and other states affected by the winter storm.
Biden wrote in a tweet after the call that he told Abbott he would "work relentlessly" to get Texans any assistance they need.
In an earlier tweet Thursday he wrote, "Jill and I are keeping Texas, Oklahoma, and other impacted states in our prayers. I’ve declared states of emergency, authorized FEMA to provide generators and supplies, and am ready to fulfill additional requests. Please heed the instructions of local officials and stay safe."