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With the increase in professional jobs, Houston has become a destination for many college-educated persons, including African Americans in a reverse Great Migration from northern areas. The storm cost billions of dollars in damage and killed 20 people in Texas.By December of the same year, Houston-based energy company Enron collapsed into the largest U. bankruptcy (at that time), a result of being investigated for off-the-books partnerships which were allegedly used to hide debt and inflate profits. One month later, about 2.5 million Houston-area residents evacuated when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, leaving little damage to the Houston area.The arrival of the 20th century saw a convergence of economic factors which fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas' primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas oil boom.In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico.

Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel because of the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products by the defense industry during the war. Due to the boom in defense jobs, thousands of new workers migrated to the city, both blacks and whites competing for the higher-paying jobs.

The Brown Shipbuilding Company was founded in 1942 to build ships for the U. President Roosevelt had established a policy of nondiscrimination for defense contractors, and blacks gained some opportunities, especially in shipbuilding, although not without resistance from whites and increasing social tensions that erupted into occasional violence. Anderson Foundation formed the Texas Medical Center.

as did the establishment in 1961 of NASA's "Manned Spacecraft Center" (renamed the Lyndon B. This was the stimulus for the development of the city's aerospace industry.

The Astrodome, nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World", The new residents came for numerous employment opportunities in the petroleum industry, created as a result of the Arab oil embargo. In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain on parts of Houston, causing what was then the worst flooding in the city's history.

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