Heavy rain and fierce winds  have already hit west Dorset ahead of the arrival of Storm Gareth.

The Met Office has issued west Dorset with a yellow weather warning for strong winds, with gusts up to 65mph expected.

The warning is in place from 12pm today until 3pm tomorrow (Wednesday), with the storm forecast to hit tonight.

The area, particularly West Bay and Lyme Regis harbours, have already been issued with flood warnings. They remain in place until this afternoon.

Bus and train services are likely to be affected by the storm and some journeys will take longer than usual - you should check timetables and leave extra time for journeys.

Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges is also likely, and some short-term loss of power and other services is possible.

Coastal routes, seafronts and coastal communities will be hit by spray and large waves.

Lyme is currently experiencing particularly heavy rain and this is expected to hit Bridport later on this afternoon.

The Met Office has the following advice:

Before the storm

  • Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages
  • Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences
  • Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30°
  • If the house is fitted with storm shutters over the windows then ensure that these are closed and fastened
  • If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them

During the storm

  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees
  • Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences - if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side
  • Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress
  • If possible, enter and leave your house through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you
  • Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you
  • Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges, or high open roads, delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible
  • Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or are a high sided vehicle
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary

After the storm

  • Be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging
  • Do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could have been weakened
  • Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs