DORSET is on landslide alert as authorities warn of cliffs crumbling after a major deluge.
Vulnerable sections of the county’s famous coastline are at risk of crashing.
Police have also criticised motorists for continuing to ignore road closure signs, creating problems for residents who live along flooded lanes.
Large vehicles, similar to four-wheel drive cars, are speeding through water creating waves which are flooding homes.
Superintendent Jared Parkin of Dorset Police said: “Motor-ists continuing to drive at speed through floodwater are causing significant bow waves and further flooding to houses already saturated with water. Houses that so far have escaped flooding are being flooded.
“This is extremely upsetting for those affected who are already battling against this terrible weather.”
Motorists are advised not to drive through floodwater or ignore road closure signs.
Supt Parkin added: “Roads are closed because they are impassable – do not ignore the signs – to do so is dangerous.
“All road closures are assessed regularly and will be lifted as soon as it is safe.”
Dorset Police and partners are also advising of the risk of landslides.
Landslides often take place after wet weather as there is a delay in the rainwater soaking into the ground.
Cliffs that have clay at the base and porous sandstone or limestone at the top are at risk because water soaks down through the top but cannot pass through the clay.
Dorset has several areas where the geology may lead to a landslide either inland or on the coast.
Tides have also reshaped and stripped beaches around the coast, meaning it is easier to get cut off by the tide. The coast path will be very muddy and slippery in places. Councils urge people to keep to official routes and follow warning signs.
A multi-agency taskforce is helping to prepare local residents for the risk of groundwater flooding over the coming weeks.
The Dorset recovery working group, led by Dorset County Council, will work with communities in affected areas to help them get ready for the floods which are expected to hit in the next few days.
The areas most at risk from this type of flooding include Winterbourne Abbas, Milborne St Andrew, Sixpenny Handley, Cranborne Chase and parts of North Dorset. Coun Hilary Cox, the county council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The management of flood risk involves the whole community.
“Agencies will be working to ensure that obstructions to the highways, streams and other drainage systems are removed.
“These systems are already at a high capacity so they will continue to be monitored and steps will be taken to relieve them if needed.”
Roads still flooded
DORSET continues to recover from a major deluge with many rural roads affected by flooding.
Flood warnings remain in place in the Dorchester area including in the Winterbourne valley and along the River Frome.
Roads still blocked by flooding yesterday included the A352 at Charminster and at East Knighton.
Groundwater levels are being monitored in areas including Winterbourne Abbas and sandbags distributed.
A woman had to climb onto the roof of her car to await rescue after her car got stuck on an unclassified road off the A354 near Blandford on Wednesday night.
The road at Monkton Up Wimborne had flooded with water from the nearby River Allen.
The woman was rescued by firefighters who got to her in a brigade Land Rover.
Weymouth weatherman Bob Poots said the average monthly rainfall had been dumped on the town in eight days.
More rain is expected today, getting heavier in the evening. Saturday looks the best day of the weekend as more rain is forecast Sunday afternoon.