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Texas Officials Ask Citizens, Businesses To Report Damage From Winter Storm

Texas financial toll may surpass Hurricane Harvey’s price to response, which was approximately $19 billion in insured losses, according to insurance executives.


Texas authorities on Monday asked citizens and the local businesses to report the damage left behind by the last week’s devastating winter storms that hit the region. The financial toll may surpass Hurricane Harvey’s price to the response, which was approximately $19 billion in insured losses, according to the US insurance industry executives. As Texas reels in the aftermath of the destructive impact from the record-breaking deep freeze that burst water pipes, destroyed trees, wretched houses electrical systems, damaged automobiles, cost human lives and property, the Texas Division of Emergency Management has drafted a self-reporting survey and is asking the Texans to fill out the damage in order for the state to provide the financial assistance. 

Provided on the government’s local website, the self-declaring survey form can be accessed via scanning the QR code and can be duly filled in. Following the register of storm damages, the US federal government would push funding to financially support the citizens to repair those damages. The form was conjointly released by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to identify the destruction from at least 5 powerful winter storms across the state. The survey would also help local emergency management officials to get an analysis of the damage from the data collected, which would be reported to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to local reports. 

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One of the costliest in state's history

Thus far, the Texans have filed a total of 75 reports of busted pipes due to cold with the state, and nearly 29,000 claims of other damages incurred have been declared, the Insurance Council of Texas announced. The destruction caused by the unprecedented arctic blast could possibly be one of the costliest in the state’s history, as millions were rendered without water and electricity due to pipeline damages and power grid failures. According to a report filed by the non-profit Electric Reliability Council of Texas, also known as ERCOT, massive destruction to the power systems across the Lone Star State, was reported, and residents were also facing mounting bills and sticker shock due to electrical price spike in the aftermath of the crisis. 

Many in Texas are now turning to insurance companies for damage settlements, in order to get the home repairs. Meanwhile, Texas is soliciting plumbers from other states, granting emergency provisional licenses and fee waivers to assist in damage repair workload. In midst of the destruction, that has resulted in possibly hundreds of thousands of property insurance claims, due to leaking roofs, burst pipes, and more, Governor Abbott declared a disaster in all 254 Texas counties and is now rolling out the disaster relief money from the federal government. 

[Homeowner Nora Espinoza holds a piece of the broken pipe removed by handyman Roberto Valerio. Credit: AP]

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