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Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS), Dorset Police and other LRF partner agencies,have reminded residents about the dangers of flooding as the Met Office forecasts more rain for Dorset in the coming hours.

The warning came amid reports of flooding on some roads in North Dorset, for example near Stour Provost

With bad weather likely to continue over the coming hours and into the weekend, emergency services and local councils are keen that drivers recognise the dangers of surface water on the roads.

DWFRS Group Manager, Tim Gray said: ‘Very often, surface water doesn’t appear very deep but there can be unseen dips in the road which then catch drivers unaware. There is also a risk of drivers in larger vehicles driving through water without dropping their speed, which then creates a ‘bow wave’ effect – and this can cause significant risks for other vehicles. While this wet weather continues, please drive to the conditions and be particularly cautious at fords, where water levels can rise a lot in a short space of time.’

If you are travelling through areas affected by flooding, please follow this advice:

· Wherever possible, don’t drive through standing water – as well as the water damaging your car, there may be hazards under the water you can’t see.

· If you see a sign to say that the road is closed due to flooding, remember the sign is there for a reason. Don’t try to drive through or you might get stuck.

· If you are driving a larger vehicle, do not go through flood water at speed as this creates a ‘bow wave’ that can then cause flooding to other vehicles or adjacent properties.

· When driving, if heavy rain is making visibility difficult, pull over if possible.

· Remember that roads will be slippery during wet conditions.

· Don’t try and walk through floodwater that is above knee level, as the force of the water could easily knock you off your feet. There is also a danger of open manholes, trenches or other hazards that you can’t see.

Dorset Council are encouraging people to stay safe along the Jurassic Coast as family and friends travel to the county for Christmas and may wish to enjoy a festive coastal walk.

Rockfalls can, and do, happen at any time; however, a prolonged period of rain can increase the risk still further. This can happen without warning and can have serious consequences. The Jurassic Coast looks the way it does because of erosion – meaning it is always on the move.

Remember the golden rules:

1. Stay away from the edge of the cliff top – admire the view from a safe distance

2. Stay away from the base of cliffs: rock falls and landslides can happen at any time. If you are under a rock fall, the likelihood is you will die

3. Pay attention to warning signs – they are there for your safety

4. Check tide times before you set off to avoid being cut off by incoming tides

5. Be aware of mud flows extending across the beaches – don’t get stuck

6. Keep dogs on leads near the cliff edge

Visitors are asked to take notice of signs and stay away from the edge and base of cliffs.

Drivers are being reminded to check routes before you set off, and allow extra time for any necessary diversions.

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