A FLOOD warning has been issued for West Bay and all west Dorset beaches and some rivers were on flood alert today as weather forecasters warn of heavy rain, high winds and exceptionally high tides.

And coastguards are warning photographers not to risk their lives taking pictures of what are likely to be spectacular sea conditions.

At West Bay, the Esplanade, Quayside, Heron Court, Forty Foot Way, Driftwood, George Street, Swains Row, The Old Timberyard, Station Way, Pier Terrace and East Beach could all be subject to flooding.

The Environment Agency warning is in force for two hours  following the high tides at around 7pm this evening and from 7.15am tomorrow.

A flood alert has also been issued for Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Seatown,  Bothenhampton, Burton Freshwater, Burton Bradstock, Cogden Beach, Chesil Beach, West Fleet, East Fleet and Chiswell.

HM Coastguard is urging people to take extra care.

“In some parts of the country, conditions on the sea and along the coast are extremely treacherous with gale-force winds, high tides and heavy rain. Sending units to help people in these types of avoidable incidents will also put rescue teams at risk,” said a spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

“If you do decide to venture out, check the prevailing weather conditions and make sure that you can handle them. If you are taking photos of the sea, take care, a great photo is not worth risking your life for. If in doubt, don’t go out.

“Some sections of the coast are also particularly vulnerable to cliff falls and landslips. We are again advising the public to take great care when walking on cliff paths or along beaches, and take note of any warning signs in place.”

The Met Office issued a yellow weather alert for the South West for today until early Saturday morning.

Forecasters say the heavy rain will be followed by strong to gale force winds.

It comes following weeks of high winds and torrential rain including storms which battered the Jurassic coastline.

Motorists are being urged to take care on the roads with more flooding expected due to the already saturated ground.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Another very deep area of low pressure will spread heavy rain and strong to gale force winds eastwards across the UK during Friday, before the associated frontal systems clear the southeast of England during the early hours of Saturday.

“Following recent wet weather, the areas highlighted have saturated ground and are particularly sensitive to further heavy rain.”