Warnings ahead of Storm Eunice hitting the New Forest and Christchurch
A STRING of flood warnings have been issued for coastal residents between Christchurch and Totton ahead of Storm Eunice hitting the south tomorrow (Friday) as councils start cancelling services in preparation.
The Met Office has predicted winds of up to 60-70mph from about 5am-9pm, but reaching up to 80mph in some places.
This afternoon, the impending storm prompted Dorset Council to advise all schools to shut.
BCP Council said individual schools will advise parents if they are not open tomorrow.
Bin collections in Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole have will not go ahead, it also announced.
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Trust urged patients coming tomorrow to the hospitals it runs in Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole only to attend appointments "if it is safe to do so".
The Environment Agency said it would be raising flood gates and is advising people living by large rivers and the sea to install protection against rising waters, if they can, ahead of high tides either side of midday tomorrow.
Severe Gale Force 9 south-westerly winds are predicted around Milford and Lymington, with flood warnings by the Ship Inn at Town Quay.
The warning added: "Saltgrass Lane will flood and be completely impassable to traffic. Property flooding is not expected. After this tide, no further impacts are expected."
Coastal flooding is also anticipated at Christchurch harbour and the tidal stretches of the Lower Stour and Avon, plus at Mudeford, Stanpit, the Quomps and Wick areas.
It added: "Please be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads and stay aware in case further warnings are issued."
In Beaulieu, Palace Lane and the B3056 Hatchet Lane north of the pond are predicted to flood either side of high water.
It added: "Shepherds Mead is vulnerable, as cars driving through flooded roads cause bow waves, forcing water towards property."
On the Waterside, the Environment Agency said that one hour either side of high water, the lower floor of Eling Tide Mill and Eling Lane will flood, and at Testwood property nearest the estuary could come close to flooding.
It added road and car park flooding is expected at Ashlett Creek, Calshot Activity Centre, Hythe sea front, Promenade, Shore Road and High Street (Hythe); Magazine Lane (Marchwood), Woodmill Lane, Priory Road (St Denys), Quay and Rope Walk (Hamble), Shore Road (Warsash), and outbuildings at Fawley oil refinery.