Dallas Vs. Houston Rivalry Means Nothing Next to the Bond Our Cities Share

HOUSTON -- It was only fitting that one of the first emergency relief workers I talked in the flooded streets and closed highways of Houston was a federal agent from Dallas. Our chat was brief because what he really wanted to know was why a colleague and I were following him and a caravan of state and local troopers into downtown. When we told him we were hapless reporters from Dallas, his ears perked up. "I'm from Dallas, too," he said without giving his name. "I'm with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms office there." And then, after telling us they were chasing trouble, he said he'd "recommend" that we stop tailing them. In a moment of crisis, this is what you would expect: Heroism trumps homer-ism. Whatever bad blood there was between Dallas and Houston -- two cities that have long enjoyed cross-state sparring over business and sports -- was washed away by what could become the costliest disaster in U.S. history. I don't know how any Dallasite can ever poke fun at Houston again. Not after this. Not with the city facing a years-long struggle to get back on its feet. "We're not going to let this storm conquer our spirit," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday at the George Brown Convention Center, where thousands of Harvey hurricane and tropical storm victims have been holed up for days, waiting to return to homes that may no longer be inhabitable. Less than 24 hours earlier, Turner posted a message that has been re-Tweeted 1,300 times and counting: "Anyone who underestimates the spirit of this city does not know Houston. 'Woe is Houston?' That just encourages us further." Turner would be hard-pressed to find anyone in Dallas not cheering for his city and praying for its recovery. That effort began before I left town, soon after Hurricane Harvey threw its first punch last Friday. Dallas was quick to extend a hand. The city opened its arms to those fleeing from Harvey by opening up shelters and, in some cases, residents opening their homes to friends and family. Since then, Dallas police and firefighters, businesses, churches, schools, sports teams, restaurants, bars, and countless groups big and small have chipped in to help. A natural disaster prompted a natural response from Dallas, which, like Houston, also welcomed Hurricane Katrina survivors from New Orleans a dozen years ago. "Lives have been devastated in Houston," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Tuesday as the city opened another shelter at its downtown convention center. "They're fellow Texans, and we're going to help them out."   Continue reading...

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