FLOOD warnings put coastal areas in West Dorset on alert as torrential rain filled already swollen rivers and exceptional high tides renewed the threat of flooding.

Police closed George Street in West Bay and a handful of people were evacuated from properties when the River Brit overtopped its banks.

A combination of a high spring tide, heavy rainfall and run-off from fields brought the river to flood level at around breakfast time on Wednesday.

The footbridge near the Riverside Restaurant was flooded and police took the decision to close the road until the high water subsided.

PC Scott McGregor of the Bridport Safer Neighbourhood Team said that four or five people were invited to leave premises in and around George Street.

“Two holidaymakers got a bit wet and went and sat in a cafe until the water subsided,” he said.

“And one man got his wetsuit on and went to wade round the Bay.” The road was re-opened by 10.30am.

The Environment Agency issued a further flood alert for the following morning and had teams in West Bay monitoring the area at high tide until the threat lifted.

Dorset County Council and the Environment Agency will hold be holding a Dorset Flood Fair on November 3.

The event will take place at the Dorford Centre in Dorchester from 10.30am to 4pm.

Residents are invited to go and get advice from organisations, including the National Flood Forum, and ifnromation from flood protection manufacturers about how to protect homes and businesses.

For more information call 01258 483326.