RESIDENTS living between Wareham and Maiden Newton in West Dorset have this morning been warned to 'take immediate action' over a flood threat.

Environment Agency officials say there is a risk of flooding across Bournemouth and Poole today.

However, the areas where flooding which could be dangerous is expected include Wool and East Stoke.

"River levels can rise very quickly in response to heavy rainfall. We are closely monitoring the situation," the official said.

"Please avoid using bridges over local watercourses and avoid contact with flood water."

Incident response staff are checking flood defences and members of the public are urged to take care along beaches and coastal footpaths and roads.

A less serious warning has also been issued for Poole Harbour, Christchurch Harbour and stretches of the Lower Avon and its tributaries all the way to Ringwood.