Chiswell on Portland on Evacuation Warning as High Tide and Storm Rolls In
4:32pm 3rd January 2014
(Updated 8:17pm 3rd January 2014)
Residents are waiting in their homes in case the siren sounds to seek refuge with friends and faimly.
An evactuation point has been set up at the Portland Heights Hotel for people with nowhere to go and the first people fleeing their homes have arrived.
Lynn is the night manager at the Hotel;
"We're a rest centre, we've never had to do this before it's the first time and I think it's the first time the local authority have done it. We're a roof over people’s heads if they need to evacuate. It could be an all nighter."
The local authority is closing Preston Road in Weymouth again after it was shut off this morning as a safety precaution.
Sea water crashed over the walls at Weymouth's harbour side and West Bay's esplanade earlier flooding the walkways - there was also a minor rock fall at West Cliff.
The MET Office has forecast strong winds and heavy rain for Dorchester, Weymouth and Bridport overnight.
Both Dorset Police and South West Ambulance have urged motorists to take extra care on the roads. Paramedics attended 13 road traffic collisions this morning alone.
Dorset County Council's Highways team is asking people to respect flood warning signs and not drive through flood water.
Today's stormy weather also brought down a tree down near the Kingston Maurward Roundabout on the A35 at lunchtime causing traffic delays of over 30 minutes in and out of Dorchester.
PORTLAND EVACUATION ADVICE
- Move to the upper floors and stay in rooms that face away from the sea.
- If possible - move to alternative accommodation not in the flood risk area
Should the sea breach Chiswell Beach a siren will sound and residents will be required to evacuate their properties.
For those residents who do not have alternative accommodation to go to, a rest centre will be provided at the Portland Heights Hotel, Yeates roundabout, Portland. This will be available from 6pm today, Friday 3 January through to 1am Saturday 4 January 2014 where refreshments and a place to rest will be provided.
If advised to evacuate:
- Leave in good time
- Take all essential medication with you
- Secure your property
Residents are strongly advised not to return to their properties under any circumstances until they have been told that it is safe to do so.
Occupants of properties at risk of flooding who have concerns or are unsure what to do should contact the Environment Agency on 0845 988 1188, visit their website www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call the emergency services on 999 if urgent.