A FLOOD alert has been issued, warning people living in Haslingden, Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom to 'be prepared' for 'possible' flooding.

It has been issued for the catchment area of the Upper River Irwell, which includes Bolton, Ramsbottom, Oldham, Rochdale, Haslingden and Rawtenstall.

The alert reads: "River levels remain high in the Upper Irwell Catchment as a result of persistent heavy rainfall.

"Consequently, flooding of low lying land, roads and farmland is expected/possible for the next 24 hours.

"We believe there is a possibility of flooding for low lying land and roads around the Rivers Beal, Roch and Croal, Limy Water and their tributaries.

"Further heavy rainfall is forecast over the next 12 hours.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are closely monitoring weather forecasts and river levels and will issue further flood alerts or flood warnings if necessary."

The alert, issued by the government's flood information service, means that flooding is 'possible' but not 'expected'.

For updates, visit flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/target-area/013WAFUI.