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Flood warnings remain in place across Dorset

By adampostans  |  Posted: July 08, 2012

Huge surge from the River Brit at the flood gates into Bridport harbour. Picture by @Loumat33 via Twitter

Huge surge from the River Brit at the flood gates into Bridport harbour. Picture by @Loumat33 via Twitter

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Residents are today counting the cost of widespread flooding across Dorset.

Flood warnings remain in place after the county received more than the average monthly rainfall in just 24 hours.

Coastguards rescued two people stranded on top of their car which was under water as the River Brid broke its banks and a man in his wheelchair stranded by floodwater in Burton Bradstock, near Bridport.

Police have been called to more than 200 flooding incidents and fire crews were also bombarded with requests for help.

Portland Coastguard watch manager Maddy Davey said: "We have responded to a significantly high number of incidents – yachts in danger of breaking their moorings, crew have become seasick and, most alarmingly, a kayaker was separated from his kayak and then swept through the sluice gate into the harbour.

"He was extremely lucky to have survived the ordeal unharmed."

The Met Office says 59mm of rain fell in 24 hours on the Isle of Portland. The average July rainfall is 51mm.

A severe weather warning for Dorset is no longer in place but drivers are advised to make journeys only if necessary.

River levels are still rising in several places this morning and are expected to peak at some point today.

As of 9am, there were 32 "red" flood warnings from the Environment Agency across the South West, including 12 in Dorset, as well as 30 "amber" flood alerts.

A severe flood warning in Burton Bradstock has been downgraded but remains in force.

The flood warnings, which require immediate action because flooding is expected, are at:

Shreen Water from Colesbrook to Bay Bridge, Gillingham; Middle Stour from Sturminster Newton to Sturminster Marshall; Upper Frome at Dorchester; Poole Harbour at Wareham; River Bride at Burton Bradstock; Lower Frome from East Stoke to Wareham;  Upper Frome from Maiden Newton to Dorchester; River Parrett (upper) from South Perrott to Thorney; River Wriggle at Chetnole, Mill Lane and Deep Ford Lane areas; River Asker from Askerswell to Bradpole; River Bride from Long Bredy to Burton Bradstock; and River Char at Charmouth.

Flood alerts, which mean flooding is possible, are for: Lower Stour and tributaries between Wimborne and Christchurch; Upper Stour and tributaries between Gillingham and Sturminster Newton; Middle Stour and tributaries between Sturminster Newton and Wimborne; Lower Avon and tributaries between Ringwood and Christchurch; Poole Harbour and tidal stretches of the Lower Frome and River Piddle; Lower Frome and tributaries between Dorchester and Wareham; Weymouth Rivers and Streams, the River Wey to Radipole Lake, Preston Brook and River Jordan; West Dorset Rivers and Streams, he Rivers Lim, Char, Simene, Brit, Asker, Mangerton and Bride; and Upper Frome and tributaries between Toller Whelme and Dorchester.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We have urged communities across South West England to remain vigilant as flooding continues to affect the region, in particular Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

"People in the areas affected by severe flood warnings are urged to stay in a safe place, listen to the emergency services and be ready to evacuate homes.

"Our officers worked through the night across the region to clear river blockages, monitor river levels and issue flood warnings.

"People are urged to stay away from dangerous flood water, and not to walk or drive through it."

More information is on the Environment Agency website.

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