STORM Eunice caused chaos as it ripped across Dorset on Friday with trees down, power supplies hit, roads closed, schools shut and transport services disrupted.

A rare red weather alert was issued by the Met Office in the early hours of Friday morning, with a warning of possible danger to life due to flying debris and significant disruption expected.

Winds of up to 80mph were recorded by mid-morning in parts of Dorset with some weather forecasters reporting gusts of more than 90mph in places including Southbourne.

Bournemouth Echo: Storm Eunice at Bournemouth Beach and Bournemouth Pier

The Sandbanks Ferry had to be suspended for much of the day due to poor conditions with services expected to resume from 7am on Saturday.

Holdenhurst Road in Bournemouth had to be closed around midday between St Pauls Roundabout and Lansdowne Roundabout due to glass and debris in the road from a damaged window.

Police officers attended along with the fire service.

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Shore Road in Sandbanks also had to be closed at the bottom of Evening Hill due to flooding with people urged to seek alternative routes.

Video from Matt Douglas

In Pokesdown, Christchurch Road had to be closed after roof tiles fell into the road.

Numerous fallen trees were reported across the county including Knyveton Road in Bournemouth, Western Road at Canford Cliffs, Brook Road in Kinson and near Badbury Rings in Wimborne.

Dorset Police urged people to only travel if necessary after the force received multiple reports of fallen trees and power cables across the county.

Meanwhile, Dorset Highways recorded more than 100 emergency callouts between 9am and midday.

Read more: IN PICTURES: Storm Eunice batters Dorset with winds up to 96mph

Buses were affected with Morebus suspending a number of its services including the X1, X2 and X6 routes.

South Western Railway had to suspend services across its network for most of the day with 30 fallen trees blocking major routes including Sway and Branksome.

Six flood alerts were also issued for Dorset including Christchurch Harbour and Poole Harbour with five further flood alerts in force.

Onlookers gathered at Bournemouth Pier to watch Storm Eunice unfold on Friday morning.

Bournemouth Echo: Storm Eunice at Bournemouth Beach and Bournemouth Pier

Photographer Lindsey Cassidy, 60, from Bournemouth, said: “I came down to get some pictures of the storm before it gets any worse – it was supposed to arrive here at 10am and it seems to have got here exactly on time.

“I think we can just manage to stand up now and no more – later I don’t think you’ll be able to stand up.

“I don’t think anybody wants to see any damage from storms but you can get some really interesting photographs with the weather like this.”

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Sports management student William Giffin said: “I was meant to be having my lectures and seminars but they all got cancelled because of the conditions but I just came down here to see what it would look like really.

“I expected it to be bad but I didn’t expect it to be this windy.”

Bournemouth Echo: Branksome Beach during Storm Eunice

In Christchurch, the quay was flooded at high tide and there were very strong winds in the area with broken tree branches flying around the Quomps. Benches, bins, seating and Beryl Bikes were all underwater.

Bournemouth Echo: Christchurch Quay. Picture by Jeremy CarpenterChristchurch Quay. Picture by Jeremy Carpenter

Waste collections were also disrupted due to the storm.

All collections across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were suspended for safety reasons. Residents were advised to not put out their bins.

Read more: Man rescued after becoming trapped under 40ft fallen tree

Collections missed on Thursday in Poole and Christchurch due to staffing shortages will be collected this weekend on Saturday and Sunday with residents asked to place their bins outside by 6am Saturday morning.

BCP Council said it would put in a catch up collection service of refuse bins on Saturday, February 26. Residents are again asked to place their bins outside by 6am.

The windy weather is set to continue today with a yellow weather warning for strong winds in force between 6am and 6pm and gusts of up to 60mph likely along the south coast and 40 to 50mph expected inland.