A FLOOD warning has been issued by the Environment Agency for Poole Harbour, where powerful waves are expected due to spring tides.

The warning, covering the harbour at West Quay, Poole, and Lower Hamworthy Quay for Wednesday morning, is a red warning – meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

Other areas at immediate risk are parts of Old Town, Poole Quay and Hunger Hill.

Meanwhile, a series of flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible and people should be prepared, have also been issued for Christchurch, other parts of Poole Harbour and east Dorset, including Bournemouth Beach, Swanage, Studland, Sandbanks and Hengistbury Head.

High water is forecast for Poole Harbour at West Quay and Lower Hamworthy at 10am on Wednesday, December 16.

Force 7 south/south easterly winds are also forecast.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Flooding to roads and properties is possible at these times, however conditions may apply two to four hours either side of the high tide.

"Areas most at risk are Lower Hamworthy and areas of Poole from Old Town, The Quay to Hunger Hill.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are checking defences.

"Please be careful along beaches, promenades and coastal footpaths and roads and consider installing property flood resilience equipment."

The yellow flood alert at Christchurch Harbour is in place for the same period, tomorrow, with high water forecast locally at 10.30am.

Areas at risk include Christchurch Harbour and tidal stretches of the Lower Stour and Avon.

The large tidal surge is also expected to overtop sea defences along stretches of Dorset's east coast on Wednesday morning.

The Environment Agency spokesman said: "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.

"We are closely monitoring the situation.

"Our incident response staff are checking defences.

"Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses."