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September 22, 2011 Nicole Hobson-Morris Executive Director Louisiana State Office of Historic Preservation 1051 North Third

Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Dear Ms. Hobson-Morris, I am writing in support of the nomination for two sites (one on the Industrial Canal and one on the 17th Street canal) as historic sites to recognize and commemorate the tragic events of August 29, 2005. I am not a native New Orleanian. I came to the city in 1993. Only a few days later, armed with an ancient cell phone and folding city map, I began my career as a home visiting nurse. For the next ten years as a visiting nurse, I began to learn a bit about the fascinating cultures of the city and much about its topography. My job led me down highways, main streets, and back roads, across bridges and ferries. I learned how the water and the canals have shaped the citys neighborhoods and cultures. On August 29, from the safety of my sisters home in Memphis, I watched in dismay as floodwalls and levees failed and the flooding of the city proceeded like a surrealistic nightmare. Unlike many of my friends--who were for the most part born and raised here, but rarely had cause to travel outside the familiar confines of their own neighborhoods--I knew well almost all of the areas affected by the floods. I knew immediately what the breach of the Industrial Canal would mean for the residents of the lower 9th Ward. I understood the impact of the 17th Street Canal floodwall collapse. I watched and remembered with great affection all the many people I had met over the years in those neighborhoods adjacent to the canals. Despite having the capacity to imagine a map of New Orleans in my mind and understand the potential impact of the floods, nothing prepared me for the reality of the devastation I witnessed upon return to the city. In the time since 2005, I have taken innumerable friends, visitors, and family members to see what happened, where it happened, and to watch the often painfully slow rebuilding process. After six long years, things are looking better. Even some of the most devastated areas are showing signs of progress. Despite--or perhaps because of--the progress that is being made, it is so very important to commemorate the places where these tragic events occurred. Future generations should be able to travel to a spot and know that HERE is a place where the unthinkable happened, where entire families were lost, where vibrant communities and thriving cultures were nearly wiped off the map, and where the long and arduous recovery process began. I urge you to add these two sites to the National Historic Register so that we can all come to a place of remembrance and hope and know that all those people, neighborhoods, and cultures are not lost and will never be forgotten. With kindest regards, Marion Deming 3951 Camp Street New Orleans 70115