Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines shared a look inside the Magnolia Table restaurant in Waco, Texas, and it was not immune to damage from the harsh, freezing winter storms that hit the state this week. A pipe in the ceiling broke, leaving the restaurant flooded, and water was still coming through the ceiling in Gaines' video. Gaines and his wife, co-star Joanna Gaines, also joined local organizations to launch Texas Forever, a campaign to help those affected by the storm.
"Whether you heard about it on the news or have been living in the middle of it, you know Texas has been hit hard by Winter Storm Uri," Gaines wrote in the caption to his video Saturday. "Families and individuals from all over are dealing with the fallout of a storm like we’ve never seen. Here in Waco, we opened the doors to a busted pipe that flooded our restaurant. But we know this same story is playing out across the state, with so many people facing far worse."
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"But there is something we can do now. We can work to change what tomorrow holds for a lot of these people. Let’s do some good today — find out how you can help at the link in profile," Gaines continued. That link goes to a new page at the Magnolia website with information on how to donate to Texas Forever. Magnolia is starting off with a $100,000 donation to the program, which will benefit Habitat Texas: Disaster Relief Services, Feeding Texas, and Mission Waco. Magnolia is also offering a Texas Forever shirt, with proceeds going to the Magnolia Foundation.
Snow is finally starting to melt in states impacted by the deadly winter blast this week, but over 60,000 Texas residents are still without power, reports USA Today. That is down from 4 million earlier this week. Over 14.4 million people in Texas, over half the state's population, experienced disruptions in water service Saturday, so some local agencies told residents to boil water, Gary Rasp, spokesman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, told USA Today. About 70 deaths have been linked to the extreme cold across several states, but most were in Texas.
President Joe Biden has signed a major disaster declaration for Texas. Biden approved public assistance for all 254 Texas counties, but his declaration includes individual assistance for residents in only 77 of them. The individual assistance goes to residents who "sustained losses due to disasters." Public assistance is used for fixing public facilities and infrastructure damaged by a disaster. Biden said he plans to visit Texas, but only after he determines his visit is not a "burden." Biden also approved states of emergency declarations for Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.