A “large tidal surge” is expected to affect Poole Harbour and Christchurch over the next few hours, the Environment Agency has warned.

A flood warning – which means flooding is expected and immediate action is required - is in force now for the harbour due to “high spring tides”.

The Environment Agency said: “High water at 9pm on Tuesday night was predicted 1.4 m above ordnance datum and the morning of 27/11/2019 at 9.21 am at 1.55 m ordnance datum.

“Flooding to roads and property is possible and may apply two to four hours either side of the high tides. There is the possibility of flooding of West Quay and Lower Hamworthy Quay.”

A spokesperson added: “We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are checking defences and closing gates.

"Please stay aware in case further warnings are issued and stay away from large waves as they are dangerous.”

A similar warning has been launched for Christchurch harbour on Wednesday morning. 

Flood defences are being checked, say the Environment Agency, and gates being closed. 

The warning particularly applies to undefended areas at Willow Way, Stanpit and Mudeford. 

Officers are closely monitoring the situation.