4:00pm Monday 26th November 2012
By Alex Winter
Roads across Bournemouth and Poole are under water as flood water peaks after the weekend's heavy rain.
The Avon Causeway is under two inches of water. Matchams Lane has reopened but Millhams Road is flooded and the tip is closed.
The Bishop of Winchester Academy is closed tomorrow after flooding in the boiler room took out the heating.
A flood warning has been issued for Iford Bridge Home Park with water levels in the Stour expected to peak in Iford this afternoon.
As darkness fell residents of the 88 mobile homes were indoors and the water around 2ft from danger levels.
But the Environment Agency has a team monitoring water levels further up the river at Throop, where burst banks would mean Iford could expect to be flooded within two to four hours.
Neil Watson, area base controller for the Environment Agency, said: "You've got a vulnerable community there. We've had many occasions where we've worked with the local authority to evacuate."
He said enhanced monitoring was being carried out at Throop between 5-8pm, after which the situation should not get any worse.
The Walkford Brook has overtopped causing flooding issues at Chewton Bunny. While there are no properties affected, Steve Woolard, coastal engineering team leader at Christchurch Borough Council said the water levels were running over the top of the culvert.
He said: “It is simply due to the extreme downpours over the weekend. It does bring a lot of debris down onto the front of the culvert.”
Flooding along the River Stour has seen Play Golf Bournemouth, formerly the Iford Golf Centre, in Riverside Avenue, closed to players for the last three days, although the driving range remains open.
The course was previously forced to close in July after heavy rain caused the river to break its banks, but otherwise has not had to turn away players for some three years.
Operations manager Tim Allen said this week’s flooding was particularly frustrating in light of work carried out over the Summer to improve drainage.
“We did a lot of work this Summer clearing ditches and improving drainage from the fairways, it is frustrating to have done all this good work and have the river break its banks,” he said.
“We are on the flood plain, and when the river gets going there is nowhere else for the water to go. It is starting to get a bit nasty today, similar to how it was in July.
“We are fairly lucky as our greens and tees are all fine, it is just the fairways which get a bit wet.
“Hopefully, with this dry weather coming, they will dry out enough for us to re-open the course at the weekend, as we are losing a lot of business. Fortunately the driving range is doing well.”
Further down towards its mouth the Stour is largely contained within its banks. The same is true of the River Avon, with riverside gardens around Bridge Street above the water for the moment.
A Northbourne couple’s home has escaped flooding damage but their garden is under four feet of water following heavy rainfall.
It’s not the first time that Betty and Danny Street from Bridge Place have found their garden under water. Betty said: “It’s up to the flower beds, but there has been no damage and we are just admiring the view.”
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Elsewhere the C13 Higher Shaftesbury Road is closed both ways due to a landslide between White Pit Lane and Cann Common. The A352 at Winfrith Newburgh is flooded but passable.
The River Frome at Wool is higher than it's been in 20 years according to BBC Radio Solent.
In Burley, the residents of Honey Lane are trapped in their homes by flood water at one end and road damage at the other. They say it's the worst in living memory.
A new weather warning has been issued for the rest of the day, with North Dorset no longer in danger but Bournemouth and Poole forecast another 10-20mm of rain.
Very high River Stour, burst banks everywhere #dorset #floods@ East Stoke instagr.am/p/Sf0sWwDPkD/— JO PARRY (@JO_PARRY_TWEETS) November 26, 2012
Two people had to be rescued from their Mazda 323 this morning after becoming trapped in flood water at Washpond Lane, Swanage. There were reports of flooding on the A351 at Swanage and Crack Lane, Langton Matravers.
River Frome nr Wool station. Retired builder Tom Williams tells us it's worst #flooding he's known for 20 years #dorset twitter.com/BBCRadioSolent…— BBC Radio Solent (@BBCRadioSolent) November 26, 2012
Residents living in Matchams Lane were left stranded after the road was closed at both ends on Sunday. The road was closed until 3pm on Monday.
With flooding by the Post Office and a fallen tree and downed power lines at the Boundary Lane end of the road, many were unable to leave, while Snowtrax remained closed until mid-afternoon.
After the tree fell, the road was closed from 3am until 2pm so the council could safely cut it down.
@bournemouthecho Hurn end of matchams lane is still flooded. Please do not attempt to drive through. Road open from other end #weather— Snowtrax UK (@SnowtraxUK) November 26, 2012
Margaret Allen, pictured below, who owns Kellsacre Animal Holiday Home in Hurn, said: “We were without power yesterday morning from 6.45am until 11am.
“The flooding in the dip is as bad as I have ever seen it, and I’ve been here for 26 years.”
Many drivers took on the flood, with one breaking down just metres away from the water.
Mechanic Terry Milehan said: “It’s the second time I’ve seen flooding in this dip, and it’s exactly the same as it was then. Last time, we were dragging cars out of the water. I doubt this is the only breakdown we’ll cover today.”
Claire Cotton, who lives on the road, told how drivers were stuck in the middle of the chaos, unable to leave at either end of Matchams Lane.
“The dip has flooded again claiming yet more cars, despite being cleared and pumped out only yesterday,” she said.
“We are stranded, and any unwitting non-locals are now stuck driving up and down Matchams.”
Despite the lashing rain, floods and howling winds, Dorset escaped the worst of the bad weather this weekend.
Flooding at Sturminster Marshall, by Dawn Verdaguer from the Echo's Flickr group
However, fire crews spent a busy night from Saturday to Sunday freeing people trapped in their cars in flood water, receiving more than 60 calls between 6pm and 9am, with many related to the weather.
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A man trapped in his vehicle on the A3030 road at Bishop’s Caundle near Sturminster Newton just after 3.30am needed to be rescued by busy crews, while at 2.23am firefighters made a visit to Yetminster in Somerset to help rescue a man trapped in his car in slow-moving flood waters.
There was also flooding, with the A35 eastbound between the Shell roundabout in Bere Regis and the A351 junction in Lytchett Minster, both ways on the A30 in East Stour near the B3092 Scotchey Hill junction, and the A3030 in Bishop’s Caundle affected.
The B3078 Cranborne Road in Wimborne was also closed both ways at the Furzehill junction due to rising water.
There is still a weather warning in place for today with more rain expected and flood warnings on the Avon and Stour.
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