DORSET residents have been warned to prepare for further flooding as the Environment Agency say river levels continue to rise.

A statement released yesterday said Rivers including the Hampshire Avon through Dorset and the Stour in Dorset continue to rise.

"Communities in the south of England should prepare for further flooding this week", the Environment Agency warned.

There is a continuing risk of flooding from groundwater in Dorset, they added.

Yesterday, residents of flood-hit homes at Iford were allowed back to their homes to assess the damage after a severe flood warning for the site was lifted.

But Bournemouth Council said: "Unpredictable rainfall is forecast for the next 48 hours so we cannot be certain that there will not be further flooding.

"Residents of Iford Bridge Home park, who are able to return will be allowed to do so but if the situation worsens they may need to be evacuated again.

"For those residents who are unable to return yet due to water damage to their property we will be working with them to see what support we can provide.

"Bournemouth Borough Council is for now on standby 24 hours a day to respond to any flooding and are working closely with other agencies."

There are currently flood warnings in place for the Lower Avon from Ringwood to Christchurch, the Middle Stour from Sturminster Newton to Sturminster Marshall, the Lower Stour at Redhill, Lower Stour from Sturminster Marshall to Christchurch and the Stubbings Meadow in Ringwood.

The latest warning for Stubbings Meadow says: "Water levels in the lower Avon at The Bridges and Stubbings Meadow in Ringwood are rising and expected to peak at Ringwood tomorrow (Friday).

"Although river and ground water levels in this area have been high over the last couple of weeks, with standing water at Stubbings Meadow, recent rainfall means that river levels are rising steadily and can be expected to remain high for at least the next week.

"Further rainfall of between 10 to 20 mm is expected over the weekend especially on Sunday."

The Lower Frome from East Stoke to Wareham also has a warning.

Many roads throughout the area are still closed due to flooding including Stony Lane at Burton and Christchurch, the Avon Causeway and the A338 at Fordingbridge

For more details click here for traffic information.

Paul Mustow, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency said: “Environment Agency teams continue to work to work around the clock maintaining flood defences, clearing watercourses and deploying pumps and temporary defences to protect communities at risk.

“The risk of flooding continues this week, with communities in the south west and south east urged to stay safe and sign up to free flood warnings.

"When flood warnings are issued it means that flooding is expected and we urge people to take immediate action to prepare. Advice for those dealing with flooding is available on the Environment Agency website, on social media by following #floodaware and by calling floodline on 0845 988 1188.”