REDINGTON SHORES — Storms occurring during hurricane season can mean long periods without electricity for residents. The town commission took action at its Aug. 14 meeting to ensure that residents left in the dark by power outages will still be able to flush their toilets.

The commission approved a plan that guarantees the town can obtain four backup generators during the June through November hurricane season. The generators will be used to run the four lift stations if the power goes out after a storm, Commissioner Jeff Neal said. They will come with enough diesel fuel to run for five or six days, Neal said.

The town has agreed to pay $9,360 upfront for an “On-Demand Contingency Plan” from Sunbelt Rentals. This means the town can be assured the vendor will be able to provide four generators on a rental basis as needed during hurricane season. Actual rental costs are additional.

Neal said the generators are needed to make sure the town’s sewers keep running when the power goes down. In past storms it was a struggle to keep the lift stations functioning by using hoses and bypass pumps. “It wasn’t pretty,” he said.

The backup generators make it easy, and they’re effective, Neal said. “Put the generators in, turn the pump on, and we’re rolling.”

Commissioner Michael Robinson said the generators are a good protection against sewer failure and resulting backups during storm events. “NOAA has increased the hurricane predictions, so this seems logical. We want to protect ourselves from a catastrophic event,” he said.

In voting to approve the generator rental plan, Neal said, “I don’t feel good about spending $9,300, but I will feel good about having the generators if we have a storm and everybody in town can flush their toilets.”

The vote was 5-0.

Utility undergrounding on Gulf Blvd. done by fall

The project to put utility wires on Gulf Boulevard underground in the Redingtons continues to move forward, and should be complete by October, Mayor MaryBeth Henderson said. That, and the planned new landscaping, will make the beachfront thoroughfare a lot more attractive, she said.