MASSIVE flooding caused chaotic scenes across Dorset yesterday, with heavy rainfall resulting in the “wettest 24 hour” summer period in 10 years.

Following overnight and morning rainfall, floods across the county caused road closures, abandoned cars and widespread traffic jams.

Dorset Fire Service said it received 20 emergency calls in just two-and-a-half hours on Monday morning, with most calls about the flooding.

BPC Council were forced to close various roads, including Braidley Road between St Stephens Road and Bourne Avenue, due to deep water levels preventing passage.

There was heavy congestion on and around Fleetsbridge Roundabout in Poole, where two vehicles became stranded in the water. As a result, the exit towards Bournemouth and Ringwood became inaccessible and crews were called in to remove the vehicles. Half a mile down the road, just outside B&Q on Fleets Lane, a separate flood caused another car to break down and cut off the only passable point of the road.

Upon approaching the water, one motorist said: “I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never seen it like this before. Ever.”

Lower Gardens in Bournemouth saw large sections of greenery completely submerged and levels of the River Bourne almost reached the base of connecting bridge pathways.

Other impacted areas included Poole Quay, Sandbanks Road and Canford Cliffs.

Local weather forecaster Jim Smith said: “A look through my records indicates that the 24 hours up to 12:30 [yesterday] was the wettest such period since August 18, 2011.”

He added that Bournemouth saw 38.4mm of rain yesterday, most of which fell between 04:30 and 12:30 yesterday.

Delays of more than an hour were found on the Poole stretch of the A35, with westbound traffic towards Dorchester caused by flooding on the Bakers Arms Roundabout which saw all lanes submerged in water.

BCP Council said: “Due to exceptional rainfall we have seen severe flooding in certain parts of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area. Our teams have been on site since this morning to divert traffic and clear the affected routes.

“The majority of the network in Bournemouth and Christchurch is relatively clear. However, our teams remain on site in areas most affected.

“We are asking people to avoid travel in these areas unless it’s essential and to allow extra time for journeys.”

Many Dorset residents took to social media to warn potential travellers by sharing pictures and news of flooded locations across the county.

One resident in Winton told the Daily Echo that a flash flood on the high street was “an incredible sight”.

They said: “We watched the water get higher and higher, quicker and quicker. The drains were mended a few years ago and looked to be holding strong. Then, one by one, they started to overflow.”

Bournemouth Echo: Flooding on Winton High Street

Conditions were especially bad outside Winton’s KFC and Wilko branches, where the resident predicted there was as much as “six to nine inches” of rainfall on the high street and resulted in some shops experiencing indoor flooding.

They added: “Ultimately, there was just too much water to cope. Initially there was a strip in the road that cars could get through, but that soon disappeared and there was nowhere to go. An incredible sight to say the least.”

Winton high street was cleared of water later on in the afternoon.

Morebus apologised to customers following diversions and cancellations of bus routes, and the British Red Cross Emergency Response team said it had helped one resident find alternative accommodation after their home became flooded.

Temperatures are set to increase later this week, with no further rain forecast for around a fortnight.