Between 3pm on 4 January and the morning of 5 January 2024, our highways crews were called out 82 times to deal with issues relating to the significant rainfall across our area.

Our multi-skilled crews, each typically comprising two people, cleared gullies and drains blocked with debris washed and blown into them. If the blockages could not be cleared, flood warning signs were erected.

Emergency pothole repairs were made where possible, or barriers and cones put in place if they could not be fixed immediately.   

The biggest issues were on the Isle of Purbeck and surrounding area and up to the Bakers Arms roundabout, so we worked with Dorset Police to close some roads for a period of time.

Our crews are also equipped with chainsaws so were able to clear trees and branches, or call upon our contractors to deal with more dangerous or larger trees. 

Call outs and works required can vary from 30 minutes to many hours, depending on the scenario. With the amount of call outs received in the short space of time, this did cause delays to our response and we thank residents and businesses for their patience while we got crews safely to sites.

We also attended, at the request of Dorset Police, road traffic collisions to clear debris and spillages, and support traffic management as required.

Flooding has caused damage across the highway network, including extensive damage to Shore Road, Swanage and landslip material on the highway near East Lulworth army camp. This will require significant follow up assessment and action which may take some time to resolve.

Whilst we were dealing with the rainfall during yesterday afternoon/evening, temperatures were forecast to drop below 1 degree Celsius shortly after the rain stopped, so 19 members of our gritting crew were out in the early hours of the morning.

We work closely with the Environment Agency to help promote and facilitate the Flood Warden Scheme. We can help residents in emergency situations, but it is the property owner’s responsibility to protect themselves in the first instance. We advise people to sign up for the Environment Agency’s Flood warning service and to get involved with their local flood warden scheme. Flood reporting is also important so that there is a clear understanding of where the issues are. Find out more about flooding and what to do  

With temperatures falling, our gritting teams will be out in the coming days. The untreated minor roads may be icy after the amount of rain we’ve had, so please take time on necessary journeys and drive to the conditions of the road.

Reporting issues and hazards

To report hazards, obstructions and dangerous situations that could cause damage or injury, call our 24-hour highways line on 01305 221020. In an emergency, always call 999. 

Less urgent highways issues can be reported using our online facility  

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