Weather warnings expected to stay in place until Christmas Eve night as police release more information about River Rothay death

WEATHER warnings and flood alerts are to remain in force until later tonight (December 24).

The Met Office is predicting gusts of up to 90mph across Northern England and flood alerts are still being issued by the Environment Agency for rivers across Cumbria.

Yesterday, a 48-year-old man was swept to his death in the River Rothay, Ambleside, which is one of the dozens of rivers subject to a flood alert.

An extensive multi-agency operation was launched at approximately 2.25pm after reports a man was seen in the river.

The man, from Hest Bank, was pulled from the fast-flowing water at around 3.30pm and pronounced dead at the scene.

Police investigations have since confirmed that both the man and dog were seen in the river. The dog managed to get out of the water.

Officers are not treating this as suspicious, but as a tragic accident, said a police spokesperson.

The Highways Agency is advising drivers of high-sided vehicles to avoid the M6 through Cumbria and the matrix signs for other vehicles is set at 50mph.

A Met Office spokesperson said: "A rapidly deepening area of low pressure will bring very strong winds to Northern Ireland, Scotland, north Wales and northern England during Tuesday.

"There is the likelihood of widespread gales, with gusts 65-75 mph. Gusts of 80-90 mph are possible, the greatest risk being towards the northwest where there will also be frequent wintry showers.

 "The public should be aware of the potential for significant disruption to travel due to the very strong winds."

Flood alerts are also out for rivers Brathay, Winster, Duddon, Crake and Mill Beck and also Derwent Water.

Looking  over the next few days, a yellow alert for wind has been issued by the Met Office for December 27.

The spokesman added: "Another spell of stormy weather is expected to affect many areas, winds increasing later on Boxing Day but likely to peak during Friday.

"Spells of heavy rain can also be expected, including areas that remain saturated from rainfall earlier in the week."

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