Obama declares disaster in 12 Texas counties

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HOUSTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in 12 Texas counties throughout the state that suffered severe flooding last month during heavy rainfall.

The declaration, approved on Saturday, covers Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Travis, Waller, and Washington counties.

It enables residents to received federal grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover.

The declaration also approved funding for local and state response costs and sheltering.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thanked Obama and said the declaration lets Texans "begin the process of rebuilding their lives after experiencing some of the worst flooding in recent history."

Abbott says more counties could be added to the declaration.