Preparations have been made along the Dorset coast to deal with likely disruption ahead of Storm Ciarán.
Dorset Council urged people to avoid seaside areas which would be "potentially dangerous".
Yellow alerts are in place for heavy rain and strong winds from Wednesday evening into Thursday, prompting flood alleviation measures to be put in place.
A number of schools announced they would be closed on Thursday.
Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers have been shut. Lifting of the the Twin Sails bridge in Poole has also been suspended.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council leader Vikki Slade said the impact and aftermath of the storm was "likely to be extensive".
"Our teams are ready to respond in all weathers and working alongside partners will be managing the impact of the storm over the next few days," she added.
She urged residents to report any concerns about anyone sleeping rough and to ensure garden items were secured to prevent flying debris.
The Sandbanks Ferry announced it was suspending its service on Wednesday evening because of worsening weather conditions.
Graeme Keddie of Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) said it was "well prepared to respond" to the storm, with 1,200 engineers in the field - five times normal staffing levels
"We do expect impact to electricity supplies mainly from tree-related damage - predominantly on coastal areas - the Hampshire and Dorset coasts and the Isle of Wight - but it could track inland as well."
People have been warned to stay away from coastal areas by Dorset Council.
"Beaches, cliffs, piers, harbours etc. will be potentially dangerous during the event, so do not visit these places until the weather improves.
"There is potential for large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads, and properties," it added.
Flood prevention measures have been put in place in West Bay, with barriers erected and road access restricted.
In Bridport, volunteer flood wardens have been helping to clear debris from drains in areas of the town prone to flooding.
Dorset Council said school transport would run as usual on Thursday, but added it was up to individual schools to decide if they were closing for the day.
Atlantic Academy on Portland is one of the schools that has announced it will be shut.