CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — Concerned Chicagoans are reaching out to Texans who are struggling after deadly winter storms.
Those Chicagoans are asking for your help.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup
A group of business and community leaders is launching a citywide donation drive for storm victims. They are asking for food, water, juice, and nonperishable items.
The drop-off location is the Jewel-Osco store at 119th Street and Marshfield Avenue. Trucks are leaving on Wednesday.
They are expected to arrive at a church in Dallas late Thursday night for distribution to thousands of people on Friday.
President Joe Biden has declared that Texas is experiencing a major disaster. As of Saturday morning, the storm had been linked to at least 27 deaths in the state, and food and safe drinking water was in short supply for millions of Texans.
With the major disaster declaration, people in 77 of Texas’ 254 counties will be eligible for federal funding to help with recovery efforts. The assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as “low-cost loans” to cover uninsured property losses, the White House said Saturday in a statement.READ MORE: Northwestern Alums Create 'The Seeker,' A Highly Accurate Football Thrower They Call A Robotic QB
The federal assistance can also be used for programs that will help individuals and business owners recover from the winter storm.
If needed, the White House said additional designations may be determined at a later date.
Texas has seen almost a week of freezing temperatures. The deep freeze impact of the storm that entered the area last Sunday put a devastating strain on the state’s infrastructure, causing blackouts and pipes to burst.
The top official at Texas’ power grid said the system was “seconds and minutes” away from leaving residents without power for months when the storm hit. On Friday, operators said the electrical system was back to normal. But even still, many in the state are struggling to recover.
As of Saturday morning, 7 million people — roughly a quarter of the entire state’s population — remained under a boil water advisory, limiting their access to safe water.
Many of the roughly 29 million residents who reside in the state are in critical need of supplies. CBS News’ Omar Villafranca reported that at just one distribution site in Houston, 13,000 cases of water were given out. In Dallas this weekend, 25,000 meal kits are ready to be delivered to people in need.MORE NEWS: Cariacature Artist, Substitute Teacher Says She Keeps Trying To Reach Illinois Unemployment Office -- Only To Have Calls Dropped
CBS News’ Li Cohen contributed to this report.