UPDATED: Stranded drivers rescued from vehicles

Dorset Echo: IN DEEP WATER: Cars at Melplash near Beaminster and, inset, a sign on the road to Muckleford IN DEEP WATER: Cars at Melplash near Beaminster and, inset, a sign on the road to Muckleford

EMERGENCY services rescued stranded drivers after flood water submerged vehicles across the county.

Heavy rainfall caused traffic delays and road closures throughout the west and north of Dorset..

Rescue teams helped drivers, passengers and pets to safety from flood water which submerged vehicles and caused another to overturn.

Dorset residents have been warned by the Environment Agency of more flooding to come.

Firefighters rescued a man who had become stuck in his submerged car on a minor road between the A37 and Muckleford near the Grimstone junction.

Another driver had a shock when the car overturned due to surface water on the B3143 in Duntish. Flood water trapped a vehicle at Thorncombe, near Beaminster, while two people and their dogs were helped to safety on an inflatable boat from their camper van in Whitchurch Canonicorum.

Early morning motorists were delayed at the Monkey’s Jump roundabout in Dorchester due to surface water covering the road. In north Dorset, emergency services helped a woman and her two children to safety from their trapped car on Netherton Lane off the A37 while a van driver called for help when he became stuck in flood water near Sturminster Newton.

A woman was taken to safety by boat after her car was submerged at Longburton.

Rescue teams from Weymouth helped a man to safety from his submerged van in Boys Hill, Holnest using an inflatable boat.

Rail services between Gillingham and Exeter St David were cancelled in both directions after heavy rain in the south west.

Kevin Ward, of the Environment Agency, said even small amounts of rain could increase the risk of further flooding.

He added: “The unsettled spell of weather is set to continue up to Sunday with further spells of heavy rain expected across the South West over the next four days. Strong winds combined with heavy rain is expected tomorrow through to Friday morning.

The Environment Agency has mobilised teams in the south west to check on flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels.

• EMERGENCY services are warning people to take care when they travel.

Dorset Police and Dorset Fire and Rescue are urging residents not to drive into standing flood water.

A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue said: “All vehicles should have their lights on and occupants should ensure mobile phones are fully charged in case they get into difficulty.”

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), is also issuing advice on staying safe near floodwater. For more information go to rlss.org.uk or call 01789 773994.

Advice can also be found online at environment-agency.gov.uk /floods /groundwater

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