The crisis in the Texas Gulf Coast is forcing a state of emergency and the governor ordered an unprecedented response to help people who can’t afford their bills.
The governor is demanding that everyone pay at least $2,500 for each month of rent or mortgage they have not yet paid, and $5,000 for utilities, utilities and phone bills.
The governor also said all private businesses and businesses with more than 50 employees should be shut down until all the bills are paid.
The emergency order is being called “the most sweeping action” the governor has taken to deal with the crisis.
The Associated Press is providing this report.
The government has said the cost of the crisis is likely to reach $100 billion by the end of the year.
The state has been forced to suspend state programs that have helped to pay for the emergency.
It is unclear how long the emergency will last, and the number of people who are in need of help is unknown.
The state says it has already spent more than $3.5 billion on relief efforts and it has asked for $4 billion more from the federal government.
The United States is on edge after a deadly heat wave, including a record-breaking heat wave in Texas, the worst on record in the U.S. In the days leading up to the heat, hundreds of thousands of residents were forced to boil water in their homes to avoid the scorching heat.