President Joe Biden visited Texas for the first time as president on Friday, checking on recovery efforts in the state after last week’s massive winter storm knocked out power to millions.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston shortly after noon.
The president shared a fist bump and some words with Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Other Texas elected officials were also there.
From the airport, the first couple split up.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The first lady toured the Houston Food Bank, where she threw on some gloves and helped pack up boxes of meals.
The president went straight to the Harris County Emergency Operations Center -- the area's nerve center for last week's emergency response.
“You’re saving people’s lives,” the president said. “Doing God’s work. So thank you.”
After that, the Bidens reunited back at the food bank, where they met with volunteers, who have struggled to keep up with the need.
The president's aides have signaled he won't make a big issue right now of the failure of the state's electric grid. His focus, they say, is simply to check on the state's recovery and offer whatever help he can.
Already, FEMA has awarded at least $9 million in grants to victims.
Last night the Biden Administration approved major disaster status for more counties, meaning people can seek direct federal assistance to repair damage from broken pipes and other storm damage.