Residents evacuated from Iford Bridge Home Park as "precautionary measure" after flood warning issued (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Residents evacuated from Iford Bridge Home Park as "precautionary measure" after flood warning issued
4:40pm Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
RESIDENTS at Iford Bridge Home Park are being evacuated for a second time as a "precautionary measure" as more unsettled weather is expected to sweep in.
Around 90 people were rescued in dinghies at 4am on Christmas Day when the River Stour broke its banks.
The Environment Agency said in an update on their website: "Water levels in the lower Stour at Iford Bridge Home Park are rising and expected to peak at Iford between early this evening and tomorrow morning. With the uncertainty of the timing and the forecast high tides Bournemouth Borough Council are organising the evacuation of the park as a precautionary measure. Please follow instructions of the duty staff on site."
The managers of the home park called for an inquiry into the way the flooding was handled on Christmas Day as they felt they did not receive enough warning from the Environment Agency.
Site manager Wendy Ayres said: ““It’s definitely a good idea that we were evacuated as a precaution. We would much prefer to evacuate when there is still some light left rather than in the dark or the very early morning like last time.”
Bournemouth council has made arrangements for overnight accommodation for those who are unable to do so themselves.
Kim Drake, Silver Incident Lead for the Council said: “We have been able to begin the evacuation in plenty of time, with the benefit of daylight and sufficient hours to spare for residents to pack necessary belongings for a stay away from home.
“I am pleased that we have been able to mobilise staff quickly, to ensure a calm and safe site exit for the residents.”
The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for several locations across Dorset.
Other warnings are currently in place for the Lower Stour from Sturminster Marshall to Christchurch, Lower Frome from Dorchester to East Stoke, Middle Stour from Sturminster Newton to Sturminster Marshall, Lower Frome from Dorchester to East Stoke.
The warnings are among 30 currently in place for the South West and mean flooding is expected and immediate action is required.
Emma Baker, South West Flood Executive at the Environment Agency, said: "The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings."
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind, which is valid from 12.05am until 11.59pm and covers Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset.
The warning reads: "Another spell of unsettled weather is expected on Friday with further wet and windy conditions likely across western areas in particular. Tides will be very high, and the public should be aware of the risks of large waves and coastal flooding."
A spokesman said: "A developing Atlantic low pressure system is expected to move northeastwards just to the west of Scotland on Friday. This will push further bands of locally heavy rain across the UK and winds will gust to around 60-70 mph over coasts and hills, locally 80 mph along some exposed Irish Sea coasts.
"Inland, gusts up to 50 mph are likely. Lowering pressure will combine with high tides around the UK coastline and bring the risk of some flooding."
Another 'yellow' warning for heavy rain and strong winds has been issued for Sunday.
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