Dorset hit by chaotic storms

MAKING WAVES: A Land Rover drives through a flooded section of road at Clouds Hill near Bovington

MAKING WAVES: A Land Rover drives through a flooded section of road at Clouds Hill near Bovington

First published in News by

DORSET was hit by landslides, localised flooding and havoc on the coast after a torrential downpour and high winds.

The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for the South West, including Dorset, on Sunday night in anticipation of the worst weather.

Roads around the county were hit by surface water and flooding, including on Portland , near Dorchester and parts of the A35.

A landslide early yesterday morning near Beaminster blocked one carriageway of the B3162 south of Broadwindsor.

A Dorset Police spokesman said several tonnes of mud and trees had fallen onto the road.

The incident was reported to the police at 6.15am and the council is handling the clean-up operation.

One family was shaken but unharmed after they were rescued by fire crews when floodwater trapped them in their car near Buckland Newton.

The mother and four young children were brought to safety in a small inflatable boat along with their dog, a cocker spaniel named Jess.

A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: “A family was stuck in their car in flood water in Mappowder.

“All the occupants were shaken but fine.”

Coastguard teams had a busy few days after the adverse weather caused havoc on Dorset’s coasts.

A spokesman for Portland Coastguard said: “It was carnage on Sunday and there were still a couple of yachts stranded around Portland yesterday (MON), it was havoc.

“Our teams were all out for a long time on Sunday - it started at about 9am and carried on until 6pm or 7pm.”

The rescue helicopter, Weymouth lifeboat and coastguard were called out on Sunday after a fisherman was swept off Chesil Beach.

He was found safe and well on the shore after a rogue wave swamped his fishing shelter.

Later that afternoon coastguard teams and Dorset Police were called out after a speedboat ran aground at Swanage due to the adverse weather conditions.

Coastguard teams were also called out several times to deal with unmanned yachts which were adrift or had run aground.

The spokesman said: “All the harbours in this area are sheltered to everything except easterly winds which is what happened on Sunday.

“That’s why there were a lot of unmanned boats adrift over the past couple of days.”

The Met Office has issued a warning for Dorset for the rest of today and tomorrow.

A spokesman said: “Periods of heavy rain, including some torrential downpours, are likely to occur across the area, gradually clearing northwards.

“The public should be prepared for an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding during this period.”

Nick Moore, of the Environment Agency, said: “We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings.

“We also ask that people stay safe, by staying away from swollen rivers and not attempting to drive through flood water.”

For information on weather conditions visit metoffice.gov.uk

Advice for drivers:

Road safety charity the IAM and the Highways Agency have offered advice for motorists during severe weather.

Advice for driving in heavy rain and strong wind includes using heater controls to demist windows before leaving:

Watch the road ahead to plan driving and avoid harsh manoeuvres.

Keep your speed down, be aware of strong winds unsettling your car and other road users.

Avoid using cruise control and put lights on when your wipers are on.

If you have to drive through deep water the advice is to drive on the highest section of the road, leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars or pedestrians, never take your foot off the accelerator while in the water, once out of the water lightly tap the brakes to dry them.

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