DORSET and the New Forest endured – and enjoyed – weather for all seasons at the weekend, with more warnings in place for this week.
Strong winds remained for most of the weekend, coupled with heavy rain, hail and sunshine.
Many woke up to the sounds of hail rattling against bedroom windows as the weekend began after a restless night of strong winds.
Gusts remained strong, with several trees uprooted.
Teams rushed to clear fallen trees in Derby Road, Bournemouth, a road close to Monkey World in Wareham, and in West Parley.
Paths were impassable in Boscombe Gardens after a tree toppled, while The Dingle in Westbourne was also blocked for much of Saturday afternoon.
At Derritt Lane, Sopley, 80 metres of poly boom was used by firefighters to divert water from running down the lane and affecting properties.
Area manager Andy Bowers, who was heading up Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s response to the flooding, said: “We will continue to support vulnerable communities and those in need during the extreme weather we’ve been experiencing and in dealing with the flooding it has caused.”
In Lymington, there were power cuts after cables fell on Saturday night, while the A337 closed after a fallen tree blocked the road.
Wave watchers gathered at Avon Beach and Bournemouth Pier to witness the sea lashing the coastline.
Windsurfers took advantage of the stormy weather, with strong breezes creating perfect conditions for sports fanatics.
However, while another day of sunshine is forecast for today, the storms are set to make a return tomorrow and Wednesday, with more weather warnings in place.
It was predicted that Dorset residents would wake up to wet weather tomorrow morning, with a Met Office yellow warning for rain in place until 11.45pm on Tuesday.
Chief forecaster Eddy Carroll said: “There remains considerable uncertainty in the track and timing of this low pressure system, but 10 to 20mm rainfall is likely quite widely.
“With ongoing flooding in some places, any further rain will only add to the problems.
“Very gusty winds may be an added hazard in places.”
And Wednesday and Thursday are also set to be blighted by downpours.
Mr Carroll added: “Another Atlantic depression is expected to bring a spell of heavy rainfall and strong winds to parts of the UK later on Wednesday, perhaps lasting into Thursday.”
A further yellow warning for rain is in place from 3pm on Wednesday until noon the following day.
Parents save school from flooding
IT WAS all hands to the pump as parents, teachers and governors all battled to save two schools from flooding on Saturday.
The headteacher of Fording-bridge Junior School, Kim Robertson, came to check on the site in the morning to discover the playground totally flooded and water just half an inch from classrooms.
A text was quickly sent out to parents and teachers calling for help and soon enough an army of volunteers were turning up at the gates, ready to help fill bags with sand and protect the school.
The neighbouring infant school was also in danger of flooding.
Mrs Robertson said: “Everyone got to work straight away and so far we have prevented the water from getting inside. The response from everyone has been absolutely brilliant.
“It just goes to show how wonderful people are in a crisis.”
Despite their best efforts, the school will be closed today.
Teachers will be at the school today to judge the situation and several contingency plans could be put into place if the school cannot be reopened.
Debbie Douglas, governor for building and grounds, said: “We have to close the school on Monday on health and safety grounds.
“If the school remains surrounded by water then arrangements will be made to see if we can go elsewhere.”