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Brazos County declares local disaster due to wicked winter storm

Judge Duane Peters made the declaration late Thursday, after thousands of Brazos County residents suffered through the worst winter storm Texas has seen in 30 years.

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Brazos County Judge Duane Peters has officially declared a local disaster for the county after a wicked winter storm left thousands of people without water and electricity for several days.

Peters said the winter weather caused widespread property damage, injuries and loss of life throughout the county. By declaring a local disaster, it gives Brazos County officials the authority to use emergency powers to protect life, property and public health.

Some of these situations include evacuating an area determined to be unsafe, control access to an area determined to be a disaster, hold people responsible for the cost of rescue if they ignore the county's evacuation declaration and suspend some regulations or deadlines.

It also gives the county the opportunity to request federal financial assistance for recovery projects.

In Brazos County, several people have experienced burst pipes, power outages and loss of heat during the winter storm. Some people stood in line for hours at local grocery stores, despite shelves being empty, just to see what they could get.

Prior to the storm, Gov. Greg Abbott had already made a statewide disaster declaration, giving resources to all of Texas' 254 counties. He deployed the National Guard to help with checking on people and launched an investigation into ERCOT and why so many Texans were hit with power outages that lasted for several days.

KAGS' Sunny Tsai will have more on the local disaster declaration and how much this is going to cost local cities tonight at 6 and 10 p.m.