McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The Department of Homeland Security on Monday held an online Extreme Heat Summit to help communities find federal grants and resources to deal with extreme weather. It was held on a day when two South Texas cities in the Rio Grande Valley broke all-time record highs.
The border city of McAllen, Texas, broke its daily record with 106 degrees, which beat the old record set in 2018, ValleyCentral reported.
“Hazardous weather conditions” were warned for Brownsville residents, according to the National Weather Service.
The South Texas region, like most of Texas, has been trapped under a dome of heat for several weeks that doesn’t appear will let up any time soon, meteorologists predict.
“Extreme heat is no longer a looming threat in a climate-change-driven future. It is an urgent, dangerous and deadly problem in our country today. One in three Americans are currently living under a heat alert, and heat is already the number one weather-related cause of death in the United States,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in opening statements for Monday’s webinar summit.
Mayorkas said Texas and Florida have suffered through recent weeks of triple-digit heat. But he also mentioned Wisconsin and South Dakota as having unusually hot weather that has affected communities.
He said about 700 people die from extreme heat every year.
On the other hand, he said officials in Washington understand what the prolonged heat is doing to infrastructure and communities.
“Sustained extreme heat can cripple our roadways, runways, railways, electrical grids, and other critical infrastructure, severely curtailing our ability to surge resources to communities in need, and compounding the human cost,” Mayorkas said.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell was helping to explain resources during Monday’s webinar.
Mayorkas said on Monday the Biden administration announced nationwide projects selected for $1.8 billion in new weather-related grant funding.
There also is $650 million available for heat mitigation assistance funding, he said.
Earlier this summer, the Biden administration announced $200 million in funding for projects in 23 states affected by extreme weather and heat.
Various federal funding opportunities can be found at the National Integrated Heat Health Information System at heat.gov.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.