Roads across Dorset were closed following a night of strong winds and rain.

Winds up to 60mph hit the county on Wednesday, with the Met Office yellow weather warning for Storm Eleanor continuing until 7pm.

Wind speeds hit 63mph in Bournemouth at 4am this morning, the Met Office recorded.

The A351 Sandford Road was closed by police over fears for public safety after an electricity pylon was damaged.

Engineers from SSE are currently repairing the damage.

These roads were also affected by fallen trees:

  • Sopers Lane in Christchurch will remain closed until "further notice" after a building became unsafe following a fallen tree, Travel Dorset said at 1.50pm today. A diversion will be put in place. 
  • Iford Lane in Tuckton.
  • The A35, just east of Bere Regis is also blocked by a fallen tree near Sugar Hill. Police are directing traffic.
  • Hintonwood Lane in Highcliffe is also closed due to a fallen tree.
  • There is debris on the A350 at Shaftesbury as well.
  • Charminster Road in Bournemouth both ways partially blocked due to fallen tree at A3049 Alma Road.
  • A fallen tree has brought down power lines between the A37 Grimstone and Roman Road in Winterbourne Abbas. 
  • Glengarry Way in Christchurch is partially blocked due to a fallen tree. 
  • Burton Road is partially blocked due to a fallen tree. 
  • The A351 Sandford Road is partially blocked due to a fallen tree near Organford. 
  • Castle Farm Road - tree blocking the road

Flood alerts are in place for Christchurch Harbour and the east coast of Dorset as well as Poole Harbour this morning at high tide.

This is around 10am this morning and will remain in place for two hours afterwards, the Environment Agency said.

A Met Office spokesperson said: “Storm Eleanor is now over the North Sea and will continue to move slowly away eastwards through today.

"Although winds are not expected to be as strong as Tuesday evening and last night it has left a swath of strong winds in its wake.

"Gusts on Wednesday morning are expected to reach 45 to 50 mph in places inland while along the coasts gusts as high as 65 mph are likely.

"Winds will slowly ease from the west through the day although a second peak in winds speeds is expected across Northern Ireland for a time during the mid to late afternoon."

A spokesperson for Condor Ferries said: "With wind speeds of up to 70mph and wave heights above seven metres, the company cancelled four sailings and placed other departures under review.

"For Wednesday, 03 January, all fast ferry sailings have been cancelled from the UK and France and Clipper’s departure from Portsmouth is being delayed until the wind speeds moderate to permit berthing in the Channel Islands.

Capt. Fran Collins, Condor’s Executive Director of Operations, said: "We appreciate that, with several days of disruption due to successive storms, passengers are very keen to know what travel options they have.

"Our operations and customer-facing teams are working relentlessly to update our schedules and then our passengers taking into consideration the latest forecasts.

"This is made more difficult due to a rapidly changing weather situation.

"We share our passengers’ disappointment at the obvious inconvenience and uncertainty caused by this sustained period of atrocious weather.

"Throughout the Christmas period, our crews onboard and our operational teams ashore in ports and our contact centre have worked extra shifts helping to revise schedules, rearrange travel and ensure that the Islands stay connected and supplied.

"I would like to thank them for their resilience and determination", she added.

The Sandbanks Ferry was suspended just after 9.20am due to the adverse weather. Service resumed at 12pm. 

A spokesperson said: "Due to high winds and tide the Ferry service is currently suspended. We hope to resume service around 1100hrs.

Poole Lifeboat crews have called for members of the public to take care and respect the water as the storm began to build.

Yesterday afternoon, the volunteers were sent out after a windsurfer was swept away.

The windsurfer was seen to be in difficulty near the entrance of Poole Harbour by staff aboard the chain ferry.

The windsurfer was then seen to drift on his board across the path of the ferry, out of the harbour and out of sight.

RNLI volunteers launched a search but were told the windsurfer had come safely ashore on the North Haven side.

The windsurfer said he had been caught out by the ebb tide and conditions as he was checked over by volunteers.

Staff on the chain ferry offered him free passage back across to South Haven.

Volunteer helmsman Dave Riley said: "We would always encourage anyone who sees somebody in difficulty or a situation that does not seem right to contact the Coastguard."

Strong winds also caused a powercut in Wimborne and areas of Poole late last night. Engineers fixed the fault during the early hours of this morning.