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Persistent Rain Puts Dorset on the Brink


7:06am 14th February 2014
(Updated 3:11pm 14th February 2014)

Wet weather and high winds continue to batter Dorset making travel around the county dangerous with flood water covering roads and pavements.

Winterbourne Abbas was closed after lunchtime due to major flooding across the road there, effectively cutting off the A35 between Dorchester to Bridport.

Eastbound on the A35 there's lots of surface water between Bere Regis and the Bakers Arms Roundabout, particularly around the Bloxworth turn-off.

The Environment Agency has warned residents living near the River Wey from Upwey to Weymouth to be prepared.

Elsewhere, Charminster is on tenterhooks with rain water filling up the River Cerne that runs through the village. West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin met with villagers earlier to talk about the floods.

The Church os St Mary the Virgin was badly hit last month and Assistant Vicar Pete Stone told Wessex FM they're anxious but ready to deal with more flooding;

"We are worried because we've just got the church dry; therefore if we flood we'd have to go through that whole process again which wouldn’t be good. That's partly why the Normans built it here with the stone floor because they could just sweep flood water out and that's what we hope happens, we can just sweep it out and start again."

Meanwhile, problems with the drains in the village of Milborne St Andrew have seen the local shop there submerged in 18 inches of water for weeks.

Pupils were sent home from Winterbourne Valley First School because the flood hit road nearby was becoming dangerous and parents were asked to come and pick up their children.

Dorset Police had to close off part of Chesil Beach on Portland at lunchtime after a volunteer from the Wildlife Trust Centre discovered a suspicious object on the shore. Bomb disposal experts were alerted over fears it was an old mine. Speaking from the scene our reporter Abby Newbery said the response was swift;

"It's been discovered it's not a mine, it is in fact the top of a ships spoiler, a very heavy top. Staff down here acted really quickly and Dorset Police were down here straight away who sent photos of the object to bomb disposal units in the area, who confirmed it was the top of a ships spoiler."

The weather is affecting this weekend’s events in Dorset too. The Navy Destroyer HMS Dauntless that's anchored at Portland Harbour announced they're cancelling all their planned tours due stormy seas.

Both Dorchester and Weymouth have home matches tomorrow (Sat 15th Feb) and the Bob Lucas stadium is totally washed out. There's no word if either match is called off yet.

More heavy rain is expected right into the weekend.

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