RESIDENTS had a lucky escape after a massive tree came crashing down just inches from their property.

The 80ft beech tree on Alumhurst Road in Alum Chine was brought down in the early hours as strong gusts and driving rain pounded Bournemouth.

It fell right across the road and along the driveway of the flats opposite.

Incredibly it fell between two buildings – clearing them by inches.

Shocked resident Sarah Mar-shall said they were woken by a loud “whump” noise just after 4am – she peered out of the window to find the tree completely blocking them in.

The 43-year-old, who was at home with her seven-year-old son, said: “It fell straight down the driveway and stopped literally inches from the walls “If anybody had been driving along the road I dread to think what would have happened.

“And if it had gone two or three feet either way it would have come through the roof.

“I think we’ve had a lucky escape – but it’s also quite bizarre and surreal. I think everyone is looking at it quite bemused.”

Bournemouth Council was in-formed and officers were at work with chainsaws from 5.30am.

The county was pounded by bad weather overnight with heavy rain and gusts of up to 46mph felling trees and flooding roads.

Flooding on the Cooper Dean Roundabout in Bournemouth caused problems for drivers around 3am.

In Bournemouth residents of Queens Court in Richmond Park Road were blocked in when a tree fell across the entrance to the flats.

A tree fell across the C12 near Charlton Down around 4am. And in Dorchester trees and power lines were brought down.