Anxious wait for Dorset deluge

Dorset Echo: Margaret Jones at her house Margaret Jones at her house

RESIDENTS in flood prone areas faced a nervous wait as more wet weather hit the county over the weekend.

Dorset woke up to another deluge yesterday morning as an Atlantic frontal system crossed the country, bringing up to 25mm of rain and strong winds.

The Environment Agency warned of flooding in the South Winterbourne Valley, with a flood warning in place covering Winterbourne Abbas, Winterbourne Steepleton, Martinstown, Winterbourne Monkton, Winterborne Herring-ston and Winterborne Came.

Winterbourne Abbas resident Margaret Jones, whose home by the A35 has been beset by flooding problems in recent years, had pumps going yesterday as the water levels around her house began to rise.

She said the A35 was passable through the village but she was concerned that the surface water could freeze if temperatures plummeted overnight while it could also take some time for the full flooding impact of yesterday’s rain to take effect.

Mrs Jones added: “It will take 24 to 48 hours for water to come down off the fields and the side of houses. It’s hair-raising at times.”

Charminster resident Hugh Willis said villagers were facing a ‘nervous’ wait yesterday evening to see if they were going to face more flooding misery after the community was hit earlier in the month. He said: “Our river level here is high, we have not overflowed the banks yet but it isn’t far off it. We are just hanging on.”

Echo reader Stuart Lawson sent in this photograph of flooding on Herringston Road, Dorchester, inset.

He urged the council to take action over inadequate draining, which means the road is prone to flooding despite being ‘nowhere near a river of watercourse of any kind’.

He said district and town councillor Trevor Jones had ‘worked hard’ to secure a new ‘soakaway’ on the allotment side but that this has not fully resolved the problem.

Motorists were being urged to drive carefully around the Stadium Roundabout at Dorchester because of flood water and the West Stafford bypass, pictured right, was closed due to flooding.

The Environment Agency issued a flood warning for the River Wey from Upwey to Weymouth.

Gritting lorries hit the roads yesterday evening in preparation for cold conditions ahead of this morning’s commute. There were also reports of branches in the road westbound on the A35 near to the Puddletown and Blandford turn off.

Residents should be prepared for more wintry downpours until Wednesday, with temperatures reaching a maximum of 9 °C.

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