DANGEROUS trees and ‘exploding pavements’ brought drama to Highcliffe yesterday.

Police were forced to close Lymington Road around noon after reports of an underground explosion near the Co-op store.

Witnesses reported a loud cracking noise before the pavement was pushed up.

Dorset Police said the incident was caused by flood water building up in a drain.

As a precautionary measure because of underground electricity cables in the area, engineers were forced to cut the power supply – a move that blacked out a number of local homes.

Meanwhile, as this drama unfolded a neighbouring road had to be closed to allow tree surgeons to safely remove two towering pines that were in danger of toppling in high winds.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “The paving stones were pushed up because of pressure from a drain, due to all the extra water down there.

“The electricity company isolated the area where it happened as a precaution, and as a result some residents were without power.”

The two 80ft pine trees were taken down in nearby Wharncliffe Road, causing the road, which had been on the diversionary route for traffic from Lymington Road, to also become temporarily blocked.

Roy Osborne, who owns the trees, said: “The trees were in danger of becoming unstable, what with the forecast of high winds, so I informed the police and spoke to a tree surgeon. The tree surgeon agreed and said they should be taken down straight away.

“These trees are between 70 and 80 feet and very much exposed to high winds on the cliff top.

“It was always a concern that if they fell, they would fall across the road. I was concerned there was a danger to life and limb.

“The main trunk will be taken down today, then the other trunk will be taken down during the week.”