Austin (KXAN) — Central Texas leaders say they’re relieved now that President Biden has approved federal reimbursement for millions spent on ice storm recovery.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown said recovery efforts from the city and county level have reached a cumulative $56.8 million. That number is made up of expenses for things like debris cleanup, overtime for Austin Energy employees, and first responders being on the job.

With this approval Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Hays, Henderson, Kendall, Lee, Leon, Milam, Robertson, Travis and Williamson counties could be reimbursed for 75% of the money spent on storm recovery.

This federal relief has only been approved for these government bodies, not individual home or property owners that experienced damage from the ice storm.

Judge Brown said county emergency leaders think Travis County is unlikely to meet the threshold to qualify for such relief. He also said it could take anywhere from 2 to 5 years for the county to be paid back for the money it spent on recovery.

“Our emergency manager and the folks at the state that I talked to who run the state response didn’t seem too optimistic that that was very likely that we would get to the individual threshold,” Judge Brown said.

Why no relief for individuals with storm damage?

Williamson County Emergency Management Director Michael Shoe said the county has spent $21 million on recovery from the 2023 ice storm.

Shoe also said recovery costs are still ongoing as employees find leftover damage months after the storm.

“We just found out that part of our communication infrastructure did suffer damage, but we weren’t able to check it until now. And so that’s been another cost that the county has incurred,” Shoe said.

While Williamson County homes and property were damaged by the heavy ice and broken tree limbs, Shoe said the county is not close to meeting the federal threshold for individual relief.

He said the county would have had at least 1,000 uninsured homes damaged by the ice storm to qualify for the relief.

Shoe said only 1,076 homes, both insured and uninsured have been reported to the county, with those uninsured homes only making up 8-10% of this total.

“We’ve made that application and so has the governor on behalf of the state. It just really that decision relies with FEMA at this point,” Shoe said.

Shoe said FEMA officials will be in Williamson County next week to assess the damage.