A NUMBER of flood warnings and alerts remain in force across Dorset.

The Environment Agency issued a series of warnings for the county last week, which remain active.

Flood warnings – which mean flooding is expected and immediate action is required – are still in force for the Lower Avon from Ringwood to Christchurch, Lower Stour from Sturminster Marshall to Christchurch and Lower Frome from East Stoke to Wareham.

For the Lower Avon, the Environment Agency said: “Areas most at risk are Bickerley, Ringwood and the B3347 from Christchurch to Stony Lane in Christchurch River levels can rise very quickly in response to heavy rainfall. River and groundwater levels in this area can be expected to remain high for several days.”

In Purbeck, areas that are at risk of potential flooding are East Stoke, Holmebridge, Stoborough, Stoborough Green, Wareham, Redcliffe, Ridge and Swineham.

A flood warning is also in force for the Middle Avon from Salisbury to Ringwood.

The Environment Agency said yesterday: “We believe there is a possibility of flooding for areas in Britford, Charlton All Saints, Downton and Fordingbridge in close proximity to the River Avon.

"River levels are still rising and we expect river levels to remain high and respond to further rainfall. More settled weather is forecast at present, but heavier rain is currently forecast for Boxing Day.”

The B3075 South Causeway in Wareham had been closed due to flooding but reopened on Monday.

Stapehill Road in Ferndown was also reopened on Monday afternoon after flooding receded.

Flood alerts - which mean flooding is possible and people should be prepared - remain in force for the Lower Frome and tributaries, Lower Stour and tributaries and Lower Avon and tributaries. 

Christmas Day is expected to be dry and cold with heavy rain expected early on Boxing Day morning before things turn sunnier by lunchtime.