A Facebook post reportedly written by a former Colorado City, Texas Mayor and since deleted has gone viral, stirring up a frenzy of irate comments on social media.

As an icy winter storm across Texas made headlines, with Republican Governor Greg Abbott issuing a disaster declaration for all of the state’s 254 counties, Tom Boyd is said to have lambasted his city’s residents for failing to duly prepare for inevitable utility service issues such as electricity and water shutoffs.

In his Tuesday post, according to Newsweek, Boyd wrote that “no one owes you or your family anything; nor is it the local governments responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice!”

​The official reportedly added that he was “sick and tired of people looking for a damn hand out!”

Boyd appeared to suggest people work on a “game plan” to provide for their families in such emergency situations and “think outside the box”.

The highway sits closed as emergency crews finish cleaning following accidents caused by ice and low temperatures in Richardson, Texas, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. A winter storm brought a coating of ice to parts of Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The ex-mayor is believed to have denounced the victims of Winter Storm Uri who are reaching out for help as a “product of a socialist government where they feed people to believe that the FEW work and others will become dependent for handouts”.

Boyd is alleged to have concluded that it was time for people to “quit crying and looking for a handout! Get off your ass and take care of your own family!”

Screenshots of the reported post swiftly started gaining traction in social media, generating a flurry of negative comments, which decried the official’s “tone deaf” response to the dire situation the residents were facing.

Some comments conceded that on one point the ex-mayor was right.

​Subsequently, Boyd apologised for his remarks, writing that his words “were taken out of context”, and his message was meant for “folks that are too lazy to get up and fend for themselves”.

Boyd, who is still listed as the town’s mayor on its official governmental website, also claimed to have submitted his resignation on 12 February, and insisted he had been speaking as a citizen and not a public service official.

“I never meant to speak for the city of Colorado City or Mitchell county! I was speaking as a citizen as I am NOT THE MAYOR anymore,” Boyd is cited as having written in his follow-up post.

On 14 February President Joe Biden declared an emergency in Texas, ordering the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts to impacted areas, as the winter storm brought freezing rain and snow to swathes of the US, from Texas to the mid-Atlantic.

More than 34,000 residents were without power on 12 February, according to poweroutage.us.