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UPDATED: High tides prompt West Dorset flood warnings
The Environment Agency is warning coastal communities across West Dorset to remain vigilant - with Lyme Regis placed on top level alert.
The stormy conditions are likely to cause wave over-topping around the coast increasing the risk of flooding to properties and low lying land. Tides will peak tomorrow.
Low lying and exposed communities and those on the seafront have been urged to prepare for flooding by the Environment Agency, who have placed the area between Exmouth and Lyme Regis, and coastal communities that face a south-westerly direction, on the highest level of warnings.
Flood warnings are in force for West Bay with flood alerts for West Dorset rivers and streams.
Environment Agency teams will be working around the clock to check flood defences and close tidal gates. Further flood alerts and some flood warnings are likely to be issued today.
Further heavy rain affected many parts of the region yesterday and with the ground saturated and river levels high, there remains a continued risk of river and surface water flooding. Ongoing groundwater flooding is likely in parts of Dorset and Wiltshire as well as river flooding on parts of the Somerset Levels.
Flooded roads included the West Stafford bypass, the coast road at Abbotsbury and the A352 near Wool.
Residents at Burton Bradstock said river levels were high and Burton Road was flooded near the sewage works.
Tidal flood gates at a number of locations including Christchurch Harbour have been closed as a precaution and are likely to remain closed until Sunday.
High winds combined with spring tides will result in dramatic waves.
The Environment Agency advises people to stay safe by: Keeping away from seafronts and promenades when waves and winds are high – respect the sea and resist the temptation to ‘wave watch’ and staying informed by listening to local radio, and checking flood warnings and alerts at environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods ‘Strong winds and large waves are forecast along the west and south coasts of England between Friday and Sunday, coinciding with high tides,’ said Craig Woolhouse, the Environment Agency’s Head of Flood Incident Management.
‘Impacts could include flooding affecting some coastal properties and communities. Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.
‘The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings’.
People can follow the Environment Agency in the South West on Twitter at @EnvAgencySW and can sign up for flood warnings by contacting Floodline on 0845 9881188.