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Rising from Ruin is an on-going MSNBC.com special report chronicling two coastal Mississippi towns, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, as they rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – To the long list of things that will be missing this holiday season in this storm-struck town, add one more: fireworks.

At the fire chief’s request, Mayor Eddie Favre on Tuesday night asked the City Council to suspend the sale and use of fireworks. Officials worry that all the debris on the ground and blue tarps on the roofs of battered homes pose too great a hazard to allow skyrockets and sparklers to close out the Year of Katrina.

In a region where fireworks stands traditionally dot the year-end landscape and Roman candles light the New Year’s sky, it may have been a dark moment, but the council had far bigger fish to fry.

The request was approved unanimously and the panel moved on to issues like whether or not the city has enough money to pay its insurance bills, how to get natural gas hooked back up in some parts of town and a program that could let the city use outside grant money to hire badly needed replacement employees.


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16 COMMENTS

The easy part was to get it passed. The hardpart is going to be the enforcement. I got a feeling that people may not want to celebrate in the debris field. That they celebrate at all will be amazing. GLGB.

This country has already taken away the decency of of helping those people in Louisiana. Now you are going to deprive them of the little joy fireworks may bring to them. After all that those people have been through, they need to know they are still apart of this country and if fireworks are an annual tradition down there, give it to them. It's the least we can do since our government doesn't have the funds or money to send to our own people.

i hate it for the children....but maybe it is best...for this year...at least one wise thing i have heard about

well that is the safe way to to go though there is is tons of other ways that we can embrace the new year

I understand both points of the topic. The government is just trying to keep everyone safe but its awful that a tradition has to be broken. I wish there was something we could do to take care of ALL the debris but most likely that will not happen, espcially in the next week or so. =(

I understand that Katrina has caused a lot of heart aches for people around New Orleans, but has everyone forgotten about Rita. All anyone talks about is Katrina. Rita destroyed several small towns around the southwestern part of Louisiana! TOTALLY DESTROYED! Holley Beach, Johnson's Bayou, Cameron, Creole,and Hackberry are all examples. Thousands of homes, cattle and everything else were destroyed. Don't forget about all of the small towns south of New Orleans which Katrina destroyed! All you here about with these storms are the large cities. What about the small town's. We are tired of hearing about New Orleans. Drive down south of New Orleans and over to extreme southwestern Louisiana if you want to view the real damage.

I think that the state govt or the city should put on a display for the families. This will allow for a little but of joy in a battered year for them, as well as keep everyone safe from harm.

To Sara, New Jersey (and many others) This isn't Louisiana. Louisiana flooding was caused by broken levees. Waveland & Bay St. Louis were wiped out by the fury of the storm. They were under the eye. They are in Mississippi! But thank you for your kind thoughts.

This is a sensible depravation for Bay St. Louis to take. Those of us in the East Coast don't use fireworks to usher in the new year, we go on Polar Dips in the ocean to raise money for charity! (Let me clarify: I personally don't do this: but hundreds others do!)

Why can't they clean up a large area in each community and allow the family's and children enjoy the Holiday Season? It only seems fair!!!!!!!!!
After all they are probably not going to have much on Christmas morning, considering most insurance company's are refusing to pay our on their policy's.
Most of the citizens probably have very little monitary resources. Let them have a little fun, they deserve it..........

thats a shame that this has to happen but i agree its a smart decision to avoid a potentially dangerous situation for all residents in the area - hopefully next year they can get back to their roots and traditions...

While I feel deeply for their plight and all they have been through, it seems a little misguided that those who say they "have nothing" now have money to "burn". They should use what they have for more important things than fireworks!

Unfortunately people don't seem to realize that this decision was made with public safety in mind. Yes, fireworks are a wonderful, traditional form of celebration in this country and countries around the world. If, however, a disastrous fire resulted from sparks landing on debris or tarp covered roofs, there would not only be no reason to celebrate but a tragedy and further death could be the result.

I still have 4 feet of smashed up wood and junk on my property in Bay St Louis - waiting on the Corps to remove it. I sure would hate for it to catch fire and burn my poor neighbors out of their FEMA trailers. Next year we can light the place up but believe me people there is junk everywhere in this town! (But we still love it!)

I am just amazed! No matter what happens, people complain. We have fireworks, lets complain because its dangerous, we don't have fireworks, lets complain because we're deprived. Granted, it was a horrible situation, Ive shed many tears. People have done what they can, and alot of the people will be better off when its all said and done, even if it takes a while. People who had one bedroom apartments will now have 4 bedroom homes, we all have to make it through rough times to get to the other side,everyone is doing what they can for whatever reasons. We dont like the way FEMA is helping.......for a week all I heard about is FEMA not doing anything, now they're spending too much. I can't say I agree, however, again, on either side there will always be something to complain about or have an opinion about.

I agree with Chad P, from Cincinnati, Ohio; the State or City should put on a display for New Year. These people ENDURED enough and something as simple as putting on a firework deplay they shouldn't be deprived of this small pleasure. Come on STATE AND CITY put your heads together and come up with something; you have six days.

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