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DORSET Police are warning people of the risk of landslides following the recent severe weather.

Motorists are also being made aware of the problems caused driving through floodwater.

Officers said on many occasions large vehicles, similar to four wheel driver cars, were being driven through standing water at speed creating a wash that penetrates flood defences of nearby properties.

In some areas of the county some drivers are ignoring road closure signs to drive through floods, exacerbating problems caused by flooding, adding to the distress of affected home owners.

Superintendent Jared Parkin, of Dorset Police, said: “Motorists continuing to drive at speed through flood water are causing significant bow waves and further flooding to houses already saturated with water. Houses, that so far have escaped flooding, are being flooded by these waves.

“Understandably, this is extremely upsetting for those affected who are already battling against this terrible weather.”

All road users are advised not to drive through flood water or ignore road closure signs. Where ground water is present on the roads and cannot be avoided motorists are advised to take great care and to drive slowly.

Superintendent Parkin continued: “Roads are closed because they are impassable – do not ignore the signs – to do so is dangerous.

“All road closures are assessed regularly and will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so. The patience of the public in this matter is appreciated.”

Dorset Police and partners are also advising of the risk of landslides in the county following the adverse weather.

Landslides often take place after wet weather as there is a delay in the rainwater falling and soaking into the ground. Cliffs and areas that have clays at the base and porous sandstone or limestone at the top are prone to landslides because the water soaks down through the cliff top but cannot pass through the clay.

Residents and visitors should be aware that Dorset has several areas where the geology may lead to a landslide either inland or on the coast and are advised to take care.