DORSET is set to be battered by Storm Dennis today.

A number of yellow weather warnings, meaning be aware, have been issued by the Met Office.

Warnings for wind and rain and are in place for both Saturday and Sunday.

Strong winds are expected in the morning while the rain is due around midday.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Strong winds in association with Storm Dennis are expected on Saturday and Sunday. 

"The strongest winds are likely to be on Saturday afternoon and evening, with a lull overnight, before increasing again during Sunday. "

Gusts of 50 mph are expected inland. Around the coasts, especially in the west and south, gusts of 60-70 mph are likely.

The strong winds will be accompanied by heavy rain at times, leading to particularly poor driving conditions.”

Residents have been told to expect:

  • Some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely
  • Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges likely
  • Some short term loss of power and other services is possible
  • It’s likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities are affected by spray and/or large waves

Heavy rain is also likely to cause flooding and disruption in some areas.

The Met Office spokesman added: “Spells of heavy and prolonged rain are expected to affect parts of England and Wales over the weekend with a higher likelihood of impacts now expected in some areas. Around 20-40 mm of rain will fall widely with 50-80 mm likely across parts of northern and southern England. Over the higher ground of Wales and southwest England, 120-140 mm of rain is possible in a few locations. This rain is expected to fall across areas already wet from recent rainfall.”

Areas in Dorset are currently on flood alert and the situation is expected to worsen over the weekend with possible warnings being issued by the Environment Agency.

A flood alert has already been issued for rivers and streams in West Dorset.

A spokesman for the Environment agency said: “River levels are forecast to rise at the Charmouth river gauge following expected heavy overnight rainfall falling on already saturated ground. We believe there is a possibility of flooding for the Rivers Lim, Char, Winniford, Simene, Brit, Asker, Mangerton and Bride. Further heavy rainfall is forecast over the next 3 days. River levels can rise very quickly under these conditions. Avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded. We are closely monitoring the situation and will update this message as the situation changes.”

There are also flood alerts in place for the River Frome and the River Piddle.

* Highways England is advising drivers to take care and be prepared as Storm Dennis brings very strong winds and heavy rain across large parts of the England this weekend.

Gusts of 40-50mph will be widespread across Highways England’s road network with some areas experiencing up to 60-70mph around coasts and routes in the south and west. Heavy and prolonged rainfall could occur, especially across parts of the south, south-west, north and north-west.

Motorists, particularly those driving high-sided HGVs, caravans and motorcycles, are advised to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.  

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.

“In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen. 

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”


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