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Dorset Braces Itself For Another Stormy Weekend


9:06am 8th February 2014
(Updated 7:52am 10th February 2014)

There's a warning for people to stay away from coastal areas and cliff edges in Dorset with a possible "risk to life" amid more stormy weather.

Emergency crews and the local authorities warned residents to be prepared and protect their properties while the county enjoyed a 24 hour respite from the wind and rain yesterday (Friday 7th February).

The MET Office is forecasting heavy rain and strong wind for a time this afternoon, leading to fears of already vulnerable sea defences failing and overflowing rivers bursting across Dorset.

The Environment agency has launched a severe weather warning, meaning danger to life, for Chiswell through today (Saturday 8th February) and overnight.

This warning will affect Brandy Row, Pebble Lane, Victoria Road up to the junction with Queens Road, the car park and the Depot in Chiswell.

Preston Beach Road in Weymouth will be closed from 11am to 4pm today (Saturday 8th February) and South Causeway road in Wareham is also closed.

Portland beach road is open at the moment but it's being monitored.

The Environment Agency has removed the flood warning for Upper Frome but 13 flood warnings for the county remain in place.

Weather experts say the recent storms are the worst to hit the county in 30 years.

Simon Parker, Dorset County Council's emergency planning officer told Wessex FM people need to be extra cautious;

"When a severe weather warning is issued it means that your day will be different. Personal preparations ahead of these warnings are essential, whether it's getting ready for floods or changing travel plans.

"A number of agencies are working together to ensure people are informed of the dangers and plans are in place if evacuations are needed.

"Local residents can help by ensuring their properties are protected, Garden furniture secured and that any drainage ditches are clear. People, their cars and possessions should be moved to a safe or higher location."

Simon also wanted to alert people to the dangers of going out to meet the storms;

"We have had a number of instances of people walking through floodwater and getting too close while wave watching.

Although the sights are fascinating and the water looks easy to navigate situations change very quickly. Swollen rivers can easily burst their banks so extra vigilance is needed. People who put themselves in danger are also putting the rescuers in danger too. I urge people to comply with warning signs and officials' advice."

Residents can check the flood risk for their local area and, if necessary, take steps to protect valuable items left at home. They can check flood warnings at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or the Environment Agency's live flood warning map at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods

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