Five years on from the still mind-blowing events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, perhaps no city outside of Louisiana is more tied to the story than Houston.
We had no idea what was coming, of course, but overall it's hard to say we're worse off for how things played out.
Here are five reasons why Katrina was a good thing for Houston:
1. Well, it didn't hit us, for one thing.
We mean, sorry New Orleans and all that, but living on the Gulf Coast during hurricane season means wishing someone else gets hit instead of you. That's just the way it goes.
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2. Every freakin' media outlet in the world highlighted our response.
We heard about Houston "opening its arms" so much even the city's most ardent boosters must have got tired. But it truly was a unique scene (not only because county officials won't open the Dome to refugees again) -- but as the horror of Katrina was still being absorbed, as rumors ran rampant and endless scenes of despair were being shown, the buses arriving at the Dome, the rows of cots and the army of volunteers, served as at least some sort of tonic.
3. There was no crime wave.
Despite the paranoid fantasies some had, and the inherent inability to plan ahead for the crisis, studies have shown that the vaunted "Katrina crime wave" didn't happen.
4. A lot of great people made Houston home.
When you lose everything -- especially when you didn't have much to begin with -- you can give up or you can fight back. It seems Houston got a lot of the people determined to fight back. Not in a flashy way, but just by getting back on their feet as best they could and starting over. Not the kind of thing that makes headlines, but does help to make a great city.
5. Hey, it's an influx from New Orleans -- you know what that brings.
Better food, whether it's a new restaurant, new dishes at old restaurants, or backyard barbecues. Good music. An appreciation of the arts. Plus, we all got to ride along as semi-official passengers when the Saints Super Bowl Express roared to life.