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STORM WATCH: County on alert again
Dorset was put on storm alert yet again as more bad weather is set to sweep in.
An amber warning for strong winds has been put in place by the Met Office for today.
After a short lull, wind speeds are forecast to increase throughout the day with gusts of up to 80mph in the most exposed locations.
Large waves are expected and the public have been asked to prepare for disruption to transport and power supplies.
This amber warning also extends into the first part of Sunday and the public have been advised to take extra care.
Dorset’s multi-agency weather taskforce is again asking residents to be prepared by securing their property to prevent winds ripping items up and causing more damage.
Rainfall of 12 to 15mm is expected, which will also increase the risk of flooding.
Residents in Chiswell, Portland should particularly be on alert and be ready to evacuate. Locals are reminded to put flood boards and window shutters in place.
Simon Parker, Dorset County Council’s emergency planning officer said: “You can help make sure your home is protected by securing garden furniture and clearing drainage ditches. If you can, move possessions, including cars, to a higher location and, if possible, stay upstairs during a storm.
“If you do need to evacuate your home it can be easy to forget important items, such as prescription medicines. Please make sure you remember to take your medication with you.”
Agencies including Dorset County Council, the Environment Agency, town, parish, district and borough councils, the NHS, Highways Agency, utility companies and the emergency services are all working together to support local communities.
Residents can check flood warnings at environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or the Environment Agency’s live flood warning map at environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods They can also call Floodline on 0345 9881188 to get the latest information. People are advised to take extra care along cliffs and beaches.
Landslides often take place after wet weather as there is a delay in the rainwater soaking into the ground. With the continuing wet weather more landslides are expected.
Simon Parker added: “Despite several warnings, we are still hearing reports of people walking through floodwater and getting too close while wave watching. We can’t stress the danger people are putting themselves, and rescuers, in.
“For their own safety, we are asking people to comply with warning signs and officials’ advice.”
The adverse weather conditions have already led to all Condor Ferries’ sailings to and from St Malo being cancelled for today.
The heaviest of the rain however was expected to clear this morning after accompanying coastal gales last night.
But a yellow warning of rain remains in place for today for further heavy showers.
Forecasters say the unsettled weather that has brought heavy rain, strong winds and flooding is set to remain until at least the middle of this month. After that, conditions may start to settle down, according to the Met Office.
The weather that has wreaked havoc across the county for months has been caused by a powerful jet stream, experts said.