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Long-haul trucks waiting in traffic caused by historic cold weather in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 15. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

President Biden declared a major disaster in Texas after severe winter storms struck the state, causing millions of residents to lose power and water.

Why it matters: The declaration clears the way for more federal funds to be spent on relief efforts across the state.

What they're saying: "Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster," the White House said Saturday.

  • "Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures statewide."

The big picture: Nearly 2 million homes across Texas had their power restored on Thursday, though approximately 325,000 Texans remained without electricity that day.

  • As of Friday, over 13 million Texans still did not have access to drinkable water.
  • At least 16 deaths in the state were linked to the harsh weather as of Thursday.

Go deeper

Power restored to 2 million homes in Texas

People shoveling snow off a sidewalk in McKinney, Texas, on Feb. 17. Photo: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly 2 million homes across Texas had their power restored on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced.

Why it matters: Approximately 325,000 Texans remain without electricity after a winter storm brought single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill to most of Texas this week.

Texas water crisis: 13 million lack drinking water

Photo: Neill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The lights for many Texans are back on, but more than 13 million remain without access to drinkable water, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: "In many homes, taps were dry. Finding bottled water was nearly impossible. Some people resorted to boiling snow," CBS News writes.

Water crisis expands beyond Texas

Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign yesterday in Killeen, Texas. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Broken pumps, burst pipes and chemical shortages have left millions without potable water after this week's devastating winter storm.

The big picture: Millions of people across the South have been told to boil water, with thawing temperatures expected to reveal the extent of the damage to infrastructure.