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Biden to visit storm-ravaged Texas on Friday

By Dave Goldiner
New York Daily News/TNS
The U.S. and Texas flags fly in front of high voltage transmission towers on Feb. 21, 2021, in Houston, Texas. Millions of Texans lost power when winter storm Uri hit the state and knocked out coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants that were unprepared for the freezing temperatures brought on by the storm. Wind turbines that provide an estimated 24 percent of energy to the state became inoperable when they froze.

President Joe Biden will travel to Houston Friday to see firsthand the devastation wreaked by the winter storm and Arctic cold wave.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden will fly to the battered city as millions struggle to return to normal life after the storm knocked out water and power across Texas.

They will meet with local leaders to discuss the ongoing recovery and will visit a COVID-19 health center where vaccines are being distributed.

Biden last week vowed to visit Texas, but wanted to wait until his trip wouldn’t be a disruption to local authorities.

“I don’t want to be a burden,” Biden said. “When the president lands in a city in America, it has a long tail.”

Temperatures have returned to near normal across the Lone Star State, but 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.

Biden on Saturday that declared a major disaster in Texas, and he has asked federal agencies to identify additional resources to address the suffering.

He spoke to the governors of the seven states most affected by the winter weather. He tweeted a photo of himself on the phone with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also shipped dozens of generators and supplies, including fuel, water, blankets and ready-to-eat meals, to the affected areas.