Biden to travel to Houston Friday as Texas recovers from winter storm

Southwest

AUSTIN, Texas (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Texas Friday as the state recovers from a brutal winter storm that left millions without power for days and disrupted access to water supplies.

The Bidens will travel to Houston, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday.

“The president will meet with local leaders to discuss the winter storm relief efforts, progress toward recovery, and the incredible resilience shown by the people of Houston and Texas,” Psaki said.

The president also plans to visit a health center, where COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed. The White House is still finalizing trip details, Psaki said.

Millions of Texas residents remain under boil water notices after the freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall caused power outages and burst pipes across the state, prompting local officials to warn Texans about the safety of their tap water. Some Texans have been left cleaning up extensive damage done by heavy snowfall and burst pipes in their homes and businesses, while others have been saddled with thousands of dollars in electricity bills after power grid failures affected production and demand.

Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Texas on Saturday, making federal funding available to individuals across the state, including assistance for temporary housing and home repairs.

The president had indicated last week that he wanted to visit the Lone Star State, as long as he could do so without “creating a burden.”

“If I can do it without creating a burden for folks, I plan on going,” Biden had previously said.

Biden also declared states of emergency in Oklahoma and Louisiana, which were also battered by winter weather.

Across all three states, 9.8 million people are still facing water system outages and remain under boil water notices, Psaki said Wednesday. Over 9 million liters of water have been delivered to Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, or are on route, she added.

The Associated Press, Reuters and NewsNation affiliate KXAN contributed to this report.

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