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Texas Legal Aid may be able to help those affected by winter storm damages

Texas Rio Grande Valley Legal Aid, which serves the Coastal Bend, says they can help residents who have been denied state or federal aid.

NUECES COUNTY, Texas — More than four million of Texas' 29 million residents had no power at one point last week and damage costs are through the roof for many of those affected. Texas Legal Aid may be able to help.


"We were without power for five days and for four days we were without water," according to Roberta Igard, a North Beach RV resident.


Roberta suffers from multiple medical disorders. She said the week of the freeze was hard.  The temperature in her RV dropped to 38 degrees as they lived without water for four days. But FEMA was not able to help. 

 "I applied to FEMA; they denied me because I'm still able to stay in my house," Igard said.


Texas Rio Grande Valley Legal Aid, which serves the Coastal Bend, says they can help residents who have been denied state or federal aid and other problems related to the freeze as well.


Robert Elder, a spokesperson for Legal Aid says, "It's not only legal services and court cases but helping folks navigate the complex public benefits systems such as Texas Assistance for Needy Families, SNAP benefits, Medicaid denials, helping navigate landlord tenant disputes."


Elder says the need for help for damages from the storm is immense all across South Texas. The water supplies of over 14.5 million Texans were affected. That was mostly because of the extreme cold which caused pipes to freeze and burst.

One resident left a post on our Facebook page.

"We haven't had water since the freeze. Multiple breaks. Every sink, faucet, and several lines are broken thru out the house and garage. I've got back problems so I can't do any major repairs."

Now, Texans are estimating damages and finding out what their insurance does and doesn't cover.

Elder says "there are aids and step by step guides to help you through a disaster assistance application and know the sequence of events, insurance first and so forth, that must be taken to qualify for certain types of benefits."


Texas Rio Grande Valley Legal Aid serves more than 60 counties including the Coastal Bend. You can reach them through their web page or contact them by phone.

The TRLA hotline is open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (CST) Monday – Friday: (888) 988-9996.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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