Sometimes it takes a crisis to bring an idea to the table? The devastation left by Hurricane Katrina could well be serving this purpose in Mississippi, where two towns – Bay St. Louis and Waveland – are exploring the possibility of a merger.

As they recover from the disaster, these Hancock County cities are discussing the consolidation of local government services. While the notion of merging these two towns is not a new one, the hurricane has now brought the possibility to the table for serious consideration. Both cities endured big blows to their respective tax bases, and consolidating some or all municipal services could be an efficient way to recover financially. But the issue of “identity” is of concern to residents in both towns – not to mention it would require a change in state law, which currently prohibits this type of union.