Update: Number of flood alerts goes up as heavy rain moves into Cumbria and Lancashire

EIGHT flood alerts and one flood warning are in force across Cumbria and north Lancashire tonight as more heavy rain and strong winds hit the region.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for the North West, effective from 6pm tonight (Sunday) until 6pm on Monday.

It follows heavy downpours and gale force winds yesterday, which brought down a wall and a tree in Grange-over-Sands and flooded several roads.

In the last few hours, the Environment Agency issued a further two alerts to those already in place.

The first is for the River Lune, Conder and Keer - affecting watercourses from Kirkby Lonsdale to Lancaster, including Gressingham, Carnforth, Hornby, Wray and Bentham - and the second for the rivers Eamont and Lowther as far as the point they reach the River Eden.

It comes after earlier alerts for the rivers Kent and Bela, affecting Kendal, Burneside, Sedgwick and Helsington Mills; the upper, middle and lower sections of the River Eden, which flows through Appleby; the rivers Brathay, Rothay and Winster; and the Upper Derwent from Seathwaite to Derwentwater.

Flood alerts mean flooding is a possibility, however a more serious 'flood warning' - meaning it's expected - is in place at Keswick Campsite.

The warning - the second highest level - is set to stay in place until the New Year.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Wet and windy weather is expected to stay over Cumbria on Sunday evening and last through Monday morning and into the afternoon.

"This prolonged period of rain could cause the rivers to rise higher than they have over the last few days.

"The rain is likely to result in the level of Windermere rising above the level it has reached over the last few days and it is likely to remain high with the flood alert in place for several days into the New Year."

The Met Office warned of potential disruption as rain falls on already-flooded roads and saturated ground.

A spokesman said: “A spell of wet, very windy weather will affect the whole of the UK later on Sunday and during Monday.

“Many western and northern regions can expect persistent rain, heavy at times, later on Sunday and during the first part of Monday, particularly over high ground.

“The rain will clear eastwards from these areas by Monday afternoon.

“The public should be aware of possible disruption, particularly to travel, and also of the potential for localised flooding.”

Kendal Road in Bowness was closed between St Martin's Place and Back Belsfield Road for much of the weekend but re-opened on Sunday afternoon.

And in Grange, gales caused a tree and a wall to fall into Kirkhead Road, shutting the street for several hours on Saturday.

Later, wintry showers and ice caused problems with drivers urged to take ‘extreme caution’ by police after nine vehicles were involved in a crash on the M6 between Kendal and Tebay during a hailstorm.

This year has been one of the wettest since records began in 1910 and could prove to be the wettest yet.

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