11:00am Tuesday 10th July 2012
By Katie Clark
RESIDENTS are breathing a sigh of relief as their homes escaped severe flooding at Iford last night.
Although river levels rose significantly from 6pm on Monday evening, the mobile home park at Iford, which was evacuated yesterday afternoon, did not see a deluge of water as expected.
Last night, residents and spectators congregated on the bridge to watch the fast flowing water rising slowly after water levels at Throop peaked around 6pm.
Representatives from the Environment Agency and Bournemouth Council were on site to assist residents leaving their homes, although some did return to their homes and remained on site overnight.
Many sought refuge in Iford Baptist Church opposite, while others went to family and friends or were found hotels or bed and breakfast by social services.
Flood warnings are still in place for the River Stour at Iford Bridge Home Park, Stour Park Homes, Redhill and Wheatplot Home sites, as well as locations along the River Stour from Sturminster Marshall to Christchurch.
There is also a warning in place along the River Frome from East Stoke to Wareham.
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said flood water at Holdenhurst Village and Whitelegg Way had now receded. The road from Bear Cross roundabout to Longham.
A weather warning has been issued for today for heavy rain across the region.
There are also delays on the A338 northbound near the A31 Ashley Heath roundabout.
One lane is blocked due to flooding, which is causing three miles of tailbacks to motorists heading out of Bournemouth.
Millhams Recycling Centre off Ringwood Road in Kinson also remains closed for the time being.
Bournemouth Council say they will only reopen once it is safe to do so.
And staff were seen sweeping water out the front of the Oceanarium near Bournemouth Pier this morning.
Dorset Police has also advised people to follow marked diversion routes around flood hit areas rather than trying to find their own routes.
A spokesperson said "considerable problems" are being caused by motorists ignoring the signs and trying to find alternative routes along back roads and through small villages, in particular around the A35 road closure.
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