RESIDENTS are being warned to prepare for more flooding and disruption this weekend with gales and heavy rain to hit Dorset tonight and Saturday.
The Met Office has issued amber alerts for wind and rain for Dorset from tonight through Saturday and into the evening.
Severe weather along the coast with large waves and strong winds could also lead to more coastal flooding especially in Dorset, say the Environment Agency.
They say some communities and defences are “vulnerable” after this week’s storms.
Sopley Primary School is closed today due to flooding on roads leading to the school.
Paul Mustow, Flood Risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “With no let up of this severe weather, the Environment Agency continues to have teams out on the ground, who are working around the clock to protect homes and communities. Over 160,000 properties have been protected over the past five days.
“We’re preparing for yet more heavy rain into the weekend, which is falling on already saturated ground following the wettest January on record. We are also prepared for the risks of more coastal flooding.
"We urge people to stay safe and not to walk or drive through flood water which can be dangerous and to take care near coastal paths and promenades for fear of being swept away.
“We would also remind people that they can sign up to receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation on the Environment Agency website and on social media using #floodaware.”
A spokesperson for the Met Officer said: “Another band of rain, heavy at times, accompanied by coastal gales will affect southwest England during Friday evening, moving quickly east across other southern areas early on Saturday, followed by frequent heavy and squally showers.
“The public should be prepared for disruption due to flooding.
“Another 10-20 mm of rain and locally 30 mm will fall in the Amber area, leading to further flooding. Winds will also be a feature during Friday night and Saturday with severe gales possible around coasts in the south and southwest of England.
“Southerly gales will affect south facing coasts of southwest England and south Wales during Friday evening, moving east along English Channel coasts overnight into Saturday.
“After a short lull, winds will increase from the southwest during the course of Saturday with severe gales affecting coastal districts, bringing gusts of 60-70 mph and isolated 80 mph at the most exposed locations within the Amber warning area.
“Large waves are also expected to affect southwest facing coasts. Further inland, gusts of 50-60 mph are likely.”