HOUSTON, TX - When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans nearly 10 years ago, more than a million people fled the flood-ravaged city. Roughly 250,000 came to Houston, a city whose residents "opened up their arms arms," according to current New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu.
"I just want to tell you how thankful and grateful the people of New Orleans are to the people of Houston, which is the primary reason I came here today," he said.
Landrieu visited Houston on Thursday, just short of a decade after the storm walloped his city.
"It changed everything in the blink of an eye," he said. "When something bad happens to folks and they need a place to go, sometimes people say, 'There's no room at the inn.' But that's not what Houston did. Houston opened up their arms."
Mayor Annise Parker said, by helping the city of New Orleans, Houston also benefited.
"We did the right and humane and decent thing to take care of evacuees that came in. It was a huge logistical effort," said Parker. "We don't know how many former residents of New Orleans and southern Louisiana became permanent Houstonians. We became closer, our food became a little bit spicier and our history became a little bit richer."