RESIDENTS of a park homes site have been advised to evacuate the site.

People living at the Iford Bridge Home Park have been told by the council that they should leave their properties after a red flood warning was issued by the Environment Agency, it is understood.

Officials say 'flooding is expected and immediate action is required'.

Bournemouth Echo:

Map: Environment Agency

"River levels have risen at the Throop river gauge as a result of recent prolonged heavy rainfall," the officials said.

"Consequently, flooding could occur from this afternoon and overnight. 

"We believe there is a possibility of flooding for Iford Bridge Home Park. 

Bournemouth Echo:

"Peak levels will be higher than the flooding in December 2019. 

"We expect river levels to remain high for the next 24 hours. 

"Our incident response staff are liaising with emergency services and in contact with community flood wardens and volunteers. 

"The rear pedestrian access gate is being opened."

Bournemouth Echo:

The official asked residents to 'activate personal flood plans and turn off gas, electricity and water' and move vehicles to higher ground.

A subsequent statement from BCP Council said: "The onset of flooding as a result of recent persistent rain is expected around 7pm this evening. Flood water is likely to be on site and affect access.

"We have been advised that flood water is not expected to reach the peak level of 3.8m seen in previous years and homes are not thought to be at risk, but residents have been asked to switch off site power and water due to rising water levels.

"Therefore, due to the lack of power and water, the inaccessibility of the site and the vulnerability of some residents the decision has been made to advise evacuation.

"Our staff have been on site throughout the afternoon. We have now set up an evacuation point at Iford Baptist Church for any resident who is unable to make alternative arrangements or requires advice. Council staff and colleagues from partner agencies will be available to assist residents and ensure people are well, safe and comfortable, and plans for overnight accommodation are in hand, should these be required.

"Any resident leaving site is advised to take any medication or essential overnight items with them."

Residents have been taking precautionary measures after they were made aware of the flood warning by the authorities.

Some have moved their vehicles off the site, while others have loaded their cars with essentials should they be forced out of their homes.

They are expecting a surge to come on the river later this afternoon.

The site suffered floods several years ago on Christmas day but residents told the Daily Echo measures had been taken since then, including raising some properties higher off the ground.

Councillor Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council, said: “A flood warning has been issued by the Environment Agency for the Lower Stour at Iford Bridge Home Park.

"We will be working closely with partners over the next 24 hours to continually monitor and assess the situation.

"If required we will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of residents.

"We encourage those living in the area to follow advice from officials and wait for further updates.’’

Residents of a second park homes site near Wimborne are also being told to use any flood defence kit they may have

The Lower Stour is expected to flood onto Water Lane Farm and the Stour Park Homes site.

Environment Agency incident response staff are in contact with community flood wardens and volunteers.

Residents are asked to avoid using low lying footpaths near rivers and streams.

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