PEOPLE are being urged to stay away from Swanage seafront due to “tidal surges”.

The warning comes as Storm Alex batters Dorset today with a yellow weather warning in force for heavy rain and strong winds until 8pm this evening.

Posting on Facebook, police in Purbeck said: “Do not travel to the seafront due to tidal surges.”

Part of Swanage town centre has been cordoned off due to flooding.

Purbeck police say the High Street, between Park Road and the town pier – including part of Seymer Road – has been closed.

A police spokesman said: "Swanage coastguard and the local council are dealing and the road will be reopened as soon as possible."

A flood warning remains in place for the Swanage Bay area.

The Met Office has issued an amber alert for rain from 12pm on Saturday until 6am on Sunday.

A yellow weather alert for rain is also in force from 3am on Saturday until 12pm on Sunday. 

The Met Office says: "A band of rain will become slow moving and heavy across Wales, the West Midlands and into southwest England. This is likely to bring flooding and some disruption to travel.

"Many places will see 25-50 mm of rainfall, with totals of 70-90 mm expected over higher ground of Wales and southwest England as well as the potential for over 120 mm in some of the most exposed high ground of Snowdonia and Exmoor.

"The unusual wind direction associated with the rainfall will mean that the peak rainfall totals are likely to occur in some areas that are usually well sheltered and drier during unsettled spells of weather."