Emergency services braced for flooding as severe weather moves in

Bournemouth Echo: Flooding in the Square on Thursday night Flooding in the Square on Thursday night

Emergency services are braced for more flooding tonight as forecasters have predicted heavy rain on its way.

A man had to be pulled from his car in Christchurch yesterday morning after it got stuck in floodwater on Matchams Lane.

Keep up to date with the latest forecast and flooding with our live story.

The driver of the black Saab was helped out of the vehicle by a passer-by at 7.45am as flood water swept up to the door of the car.

Police officers closed the road after other vehicles began to get into difficulty and it remained shut for most of the day as water continued to run off the nearby fields.

Bournemouth's lower gardens, Bournemouth Square and Braidley Road were also swamped with flood water.

At the height of the bad weather gusts of up to 65mph were recorded in Poole and 50mph in Bournemouth.

Police closed off Westover Road roundabout on Thursday evening after a lamppost fell over in the heavy wind and rain.

Readers also reported that several roads in the area were impassable including near the Avenue by Branksome Beach.

Forecasters say more bad weather is due in the area today and tomorrow and have urged residents and motorists to take care.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for a section of the South West with 40mm of rain “likely” today.

A warning has also been issued for tomorrow, although it is expected the worst of the rain will brush over the top of Dorset. However winds are expected to be strong.

They say the public should be aware of the risk of localised flooding given the amount of rainfall seen in recent days.

Steve Woolard, coastal engineering team leader at Christchurch Borough Council, said yesterday: “Sunday and Monday are looking to be particularly wet again which could bring 30mm of rain in a short amount of time to already saturated areas and add to river levels.

“The water is taking a long time to come down the Stour from a few days ago and also from last night.

“We will be monitoring the situation closely over the weekend.”

Bournemouth council have put contingency plans in place for the Christmas lights switch-on, due to take place in the Square from Sunday afternoon.

In Poole the heavy rain caused flooding in Lagland Street in Poole's Old Town and Poole Road opposite the bowling alley, as well as small pockets of localised flooding elsewhere.

Pinecliff Road was closed at the junction with The Avenue by the Branksome Chine car park and reopened at about 9.30am yesterday.

Two trees were brought down in the borough - one in West Way, Broadstone, was made safe and removed yesterday. A tree in Widworthy Drive, Broadstone, was removed overnight on Thursday.

Borough of Poole staff toured the area to note any issues. The sweeper and gully empting teams were tasked with clearing leaves and unblocking gullies throughout the day on Friday.
Barry Sparkes, street scene manager, Borough of Poole, said localised flooding caused minimum disruption to morning traffic.

“As flooding is a possibility in Poole again this weekend we would urge motorists to take precautions and only travel by car if their journey is essential,” he added.

“We recommend motorists check the Met office for up-to-date information and take extra care when driving, ensuring they are visible to other drivers and road users by keeping their headlights on even in daylight hours, and not under any circumstances attempting to drive through standing or flowing water if they are not sure how deep it is.

“Any incidents of severe flooding or fallen trees can be reported to the council on 0800 506050.”

Dorset Police say emergency services are prepared for the weather with ambulance crews, fire and rescue crews and police on standby to assist victims.

A spokesman said: “Members of the public are being warned to take extra care when driving, ensuring that they are visible to other drivers and road users by keeping headlights on even in daylight hours.

“Motorists should not, under any circumstances, attempt to drive through standing or flowing water if they are not sure how deep it is.”

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