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Warmer temperatures bring welcome relief to Texas and southern states as recovery begins

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Nearly a week after a generational winter storm barreled through Texas and other Southern states, warmer weather finally brought some welcome relief Saturday. 

Fox News meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said temperatures in the south are “rising to typical levels or a few degrees above average by early week.”

“A major warm up is occurring, and temps will be in the 60s by [Sunday],” he said. “This will quickly melt the snow and ice and allow the clean up to begin.”

Despite a return to somewhat normal temperatures, the lone star state is just beginning to deal with the fallout from the storm, as millions are still on boil water notices and officials are working to restore power and clean water to residents. 

A woman wrapped in a blanket crosses the street near downtown Dallas, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Temperatures dropped into the single digits as snow shut down air travel and grocery stores. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A woman wrapped in a blanket crosses the street near downtown Dallas, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Temperatures dropped into the single digits as snow shut down air travel and grocery stores. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
(Associated Press)

TEXAS HOSPITALS DEALT WINTER WEATHER BLOW SCRAMBLE TO GET CLEAN WATER TO PATIENTS

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for 77 of Texas’s 254 counties Saturday, which will make federal funding available to assist in the cleanup. 

“While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday. 

Power was back on for most Texans Saturday as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced Friday that it was lifting emergency conditions and returning to normal operations.

Despite that, around 300,000 people were still without power in the south Saturday, most of them concentrated in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. 

TEXAS FACING WATER CRISIS, TEMPERATURES TO CLIMB AFTER STORMS, DEADLY DEEP FREEZE

Texans who did have power during the past week may face unexpectedly high electric bills as energy prices skyrocketed during the storm. 

Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., sent a letter to federal energy agencies Saturday, urging them to investigate the natural gas spike as potential price gouging, the Associated Press reports. 

While electricity and water are coming back online, many Texans are still struggling to find food. 

Volunteers hand out food and water at a San Antonio Food Bank drive-through food distribution site held at Rackspace Technology, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Volunteers hand out food and water at a San Antonio Food Bank drive-through food distribution site held at Rackspace Technology, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Food banks, private restaurants, and the military are now working to meet the surging demand for food in the wake of the storm. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., traveled to Texas and raised more than $3 million for the Houston Food Bank. 

Roughly half of the more than 70 deaths that have been attributed to the storm occurred in Texas. Causes include hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and car crashes. 

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Biden says he plans to visit Texas next week, though the timing is uncertain. 

“I had planned on being in Texas at the beginning of next week, but I don’t want to be a burden. When the president lands in any city in America, it has a long tail,” Biden said Friday. “If in fact it’s concluded I can do it without creating a burden, I plan on going.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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