Swanage braces itself for Storm Dennis as flood alert issued

Flooding is possible this weekend in Swanage as the Met Office issues yellow weather warnings ahead of Storm Dennis’s arrival. Sea spray overtopping and large waves are forecast.

The BBC’s weather centre says that the real issue about this storm is the large amount of rainfall that’s expected, especially so soon after Storm Ciara.

Strong winds and very heavy rain

In response, the RNLI has urged people to stay away from the coast, where strong winds and very heavy rain are expected to make conditions hazardous.

The lifesaving charity, that has a lifeboat station in Swanage, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution along the coastline, especially along exposed cliffs, the seafront and the pier during Storm Dennis.

Ross Macleod, RNLI Water Safety Manager said:

“We urge anyone going out to think twice about the dangers around our coastline. Sadly, around 150 people accidentally lose their lives around UK and Irish waters each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water.

“Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents, especially with the risk of cold water shock for anybody finding themselves in the water unexpectedly.”

Rob Sansom, Senior Coastal Operations Officer, HM Coastguard, added:

“With the arrival of Storm Dennis, especially so quickly after the last storm, the seas have been unforgiving and we cannot stress enough that piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be when the weather is bad.”

Weekend forecast for Swanage

Heavy rain for Saturday 15th February 2020 and Sunday 16th February 2020 with coastal gales up to 70 mph expected.

Met Office Yellow warning of wind
Starts: 10 am Saturday 15th February 2020
Ends: 12 noon Sunday 16th February 2020

Met Office Yellow warning of rain
Starts: 12 noon Saturday 15th February 2020
Ends: 9 pm Sunday 16th February 2020

Flooding

The Government’s Flood Information Service issued this warning this afternoon:

“Flooding is possible – be prepared. Storm Dennis is forecast this weekend with Met Office yellow weather warnings for wind and rain along the East Coast of Dorset. Sea spray overtopping and large waves are forecast. Flooding to roads and land is possible for the duration of the whole weekend.

“We believe there is a possibility of flooding for Castletown, Weymouth, Preston Beach, Swanage Bay, Studland Bay, Sandbanks, Poole Harbour, Bournemouth Beach, Hengistbury Head and Christchurch Harbour. Please be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads and stay away from exposed areas of coastline. Keep away from cliffs as cliff falls are more likely in these conditions.”

Travel disruption

Sandbanks Ferry Tweets:

“Severe weather has been forecast for this weekend on Saturday and Sunday with Storm Dennis. For safety, the ferry may have to be suspended temporarily at some point. Please check our Twitter or website for any service updates before you travel.”

Dorset Council, who is responsible for Dorset’s roads warns:

“The forecast wind and rain may cause further damage, especially as trees and structures may have been weakened by Storm Ciara, and the ground is saturated which may cause short-term localised flooding.

“Drivers should be aware of the weather conditions and check routes before starting their journey and avoid unnecessary journeys. Dorset Council’s Highways teams will be on standby to respond to any road closures.”

For more information

Swanage flood alerts and warnings 
UK weather warnings
Dorset travel information on Twitter and online

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