HIGH winds and a tidal surge have prompted a double flood alert for Christchurch and the River Avon today (Tuesday).
The Environment Agency issued one of two “Prepare” warnings – the lowest of three levels – shortly before 1pm for an area of east Dorset including Hengistbury Head and Christchurch Harbour.
“Due to high winds and a tidal surge we believe there is a possibility of flooding,” said the alert, which also included Studland Bay, Sandbanks, Poole Harbour and Bournemouth Beach.
“The highest water is forecast for 4pm today, but will be high for two hours before and two hours after this time. We are closely monitoring the situation.”
The second Prepare alert was for the lower Avon and its tributaries between Ringwood and Christchurch.
Residents living along the river were urged to be ready for possible flooding as waters remain high, with levels rising at the Ringwood Old Cottage river gauge just south of the A31.
The alert said: “Consequently, the risk of flooding remains. Areas most at risk are tributaries between Ringwood and Christchurch.
“More rain is forecast over the next few days. We expect river levels to remain high, and rivers may respond quickly to any additional rainfall.
“We are closely monitoring the situation. Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses.”
For Prepare alerts residents are advised to get ready with a bag that includes medicines and insurance documents.
As reported in the A&T, Beaulieu, Lymington, Milford and Christchurch were the subject of Environment Agency flood alerts on 27th November.
Some roads were flooded and people were advised to avoid Beaulieu altogether either side of high tide. Pavements at Lymington quay were also underwater. The surge was blamed on the aftereffects of the former Storm Sebastian in the Atlantic.