Whistleblower says Harwood city ordinance on permitting fireworks need to change

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HARWOOD, N.D. (Valley News Live) A Harwood resident contacted our Whistleblower Hotline for what she says is to remind her neighbors to be mindful of the impacts lighting fireworks have on those dealing with mental illnesses, including veterans.

She said her complaints to Harwood city leaders about their firework ordinance have fallen on deaf ears. She also asked us to hide her identity because she doesn’t want to be judged for struggling with anxiety.

“I don't think that celebrating the Fourth of July just needs to be all about shooting off fireworks for a week,” she said.

People can shoot fireworks in the city limits of Harwood from June 27 to July 5, according to the city ordinance.

Fireworks are allowed to go off from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on June 27, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 2, and 5. But, on July 3 and 4 the time is stretched from 8 a.m. to midnight.

The Whistleblower said last year she had a mental breakdown during the firework season forcing her to see a therapist.

“Feeling of just general anxiety, you can't get away from it. It's kind of like a fight or flight response, you're stuck. You're there and there's nowhere for you to get away from it,” she said.

She said she hopes people in Harwood take her concerns seriously and not dismiss them as someone who is just complaining.

According to health experts, fireworks can trigger bad experiences for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. War veterans have the toughest time as the loud firework pop can sound like gunfire.

Some tips recommended for those suffering from PTSD is to cover your ears with inexpensive ear protection or ask your neighbors if they plan to set off fireworks.

But, the Whistleblower said her big issue is that no one should suffer in silence.