AUSTIN, Texas -

Texas has appealed the federal government's denial of disaster assistance for 15 counties slammed during a December winter ice storm.

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday appealed on behalf of Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Palo Pinto, Parker, Red River and Tarrant counties. Perry's office estimates total response costs and damage topped $48 million.

Perry says severe wintry weather that began Dec. 5 and lasted several days created a strain on finances and resources in the Texas communities.

More than a quarter of a million homes and businesses in North Texas lost electricity during the storm that closed schools, delayed flights and made driving treacherous.