A NUMBER of Environment Agency flood warnings and alerts have been issued for Dorset.

Poole Harbour is subject to a flood warning, meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

The Environment Agency said: "Some overtopping of sea defences is expected as a result of a high tide and a tidal surge.

"The forecast high water is at 1pm on Thursday. The forecast wind is Force 5, southerly.

"Flooding is possible at this time, however conditions may apply two to four hours either side of the high tide."

The agency says there is a possibility of minor flooding for Lower Hamworthy and areas along the harbourside from the RNLI building to Sandbanks including Dee Way, The Fisherman's Quay and Shore Road.

Coastal conditions should ease for the evening tide on Thursday, but will deteriorate by the weekend with the arrival of Storm Dennis.

Meanwhile, a flood alert is in place up to four hours either side of 9.45am on Thursday for Poole Harbour, tidal stretches the Lower Frome and River Piddle, Swanage Bay, Studland Bay, Sandbanks, Bournemouth Beach, Hengistbury Head and Christchurch Harbour.

"Strong onshore winds will cause tide levels to rise further," said the Environment Agency spokesman. "We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are closing flood gates and checking defences.

"Please be careful along beaches, promenades and coastal footpaths and roads as large waves could be dangerous."

At Christchurch Harbour another flood warning has been issued for four hours either side of high water at 1pm on Thursday.

"We believe there is a possibility of flooding for areas in close proximity to Christchurch Harbour including Mudeford, Stanpit, the Quomps and Wick areas," said the spokesman.

Flood alerts are also in place for tidal stretches of the Lower Stour and Avon.