Residents are being warned to take 'immediate action' on flood risk, after warnings were issued for Dorset.

Portland, Lyme Regis and West Bay are all affected, with yellow and red warnings in place.  

A red alert for Lyme Regis harbour and West Bay harbour was issued yesterday, and continues into tonight - buildings, low lying areas and roads are all predicted to be at risk from the rising waters.

Tides will be at their highest at 8.30pm this evening, and the red warning will remain in place for two to four hours afterwards, according to forecasts.

Residents are being warned to take care near on coastal paths and promenades due to large waves and spray, which may also flood roads between Park Dean Campsite and West Bay Road.

Chiswell on Portland has a yellow warning in place for Saturday morning - property owners with flood protection equipment should consider installing it now, the Met Office has advised.

Have you been out and about in today's dramatic weather? Send your pictures to - but please don't take photos unless it's safe.

The government has issued the following advice on how to prepare for a flood

Yellow alert

prepare a bag that includes medicines and insurance documents

check flood warnings

Red warning

turn off gas, water and electricity

move things upstairs or to safety

move family, pets and car to safety

Being prepared

You should prepare a bag of essential items to take with you if you have to leave your home. Keep this in a safe place. You could include things like spare medication, glasses, clothing, important documents and contact details such as the number of your insurance company.

Create a checklist of things to do to protect your family, such as turning off the electricity and gas to prevent a fire.

Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water

If you leave your home during a flood you’ll need to turn off your mains water, gas and electricity if it’s safe to do so. You should find out in advance how to do this.

The location of water stopcocks, gas shut-off valves and electrical master switches varies between properties. The gas shut-off valve is usually beside the meter. The mains electricity cut-off is usually a big red switch on your fuse box. If you can’t find your water stopcock, ask someone with practical experience or a plumber to help you.

Protect your property

You can make changes to your property that will help you to get back to normal more quickly after a flood and reduce the damage flooding can do.

To reduce flood damage you can take steps such as laying tiles instead of carpets, moving electrical sockets higher up the wall and fitting non-return valves to stop flood water entering your property through the drains. Bluepages lists suppliers of flood products and services.

For more information on advance measures, get the National Flood Forum’s property protection guides for property owners or for local authorities and professionals.

Simple maintenance like keeping drains and gullies clear of debris will also help to protect your property.

Check your insurance

Make sure you have insurance to protect your home or business. If you have buildings and contents insurance, check if flood damage is included.

If you rent your home, it’s your responsibility to protect your belongings.

If you’re finding it difficult to get your property insured for flooding, the National Flood Forum may be able to help.

The Flood Re scheme works with some insurance providers to reduce the cost of insuring certain homes against flooding.

Bookmark flood forecasting websites

Keeping a list of useful web pages can save time when you want to check:

the weather

flood warnings

local river and sea levels

Find out where you’ll get help

Areas prone to flooding may already have flood groups and community hubs where you can find food, clothing, shelter and advice during a flood. Some areas have community flood wardens - volunteers who monitor a specific local area and inform its residents when flooding is likely.

Visit the National Flood Forum or call them on 01299 403 055 for help in finding local support. You can also try searching for local flood groups on social media.