A PUB badly damaged by Storm Ciara is hoped to reopen earlier than expected, its staff have said.

The Ribchester Arms in Blackburn Road, Ribchester, was under several feet of water last weekend as Storm Ciara battered East Lancashire.

It's brewer, Robinsons, announced the pub would be closed until March 17 due to lots of repair work needed.

Repair work has already got underway with staff working round the clock to get the establishment open again.

On it's Facebook page, a pub spokesman said: "It really is amazing how the place is looking after all the hard work from the staff and volunteers. "The chefs have washed every piece of crockery in the building and Zita, Shelly, Sam and Lindsay have got the toilets sparkling and the tables and chairs ready to go.

"The floor is taking some getting up as it was so well glued down last time but after a hard days graft we are one day closer to reopening.

"Half the restaurant floor is up and hopefully the other half to follow tomorrow so we can get the ground dried as quickly as possible.

"Very positive meetings with the Robinsons directors and providing we don’t get round two with storm Dennis this weekend then things are looking on track for a much faster turn around than last time.

"The hunt for sandbags begins tomorrow to help keep Dennis the menace out."

The pub had to close for several months after it was hit badly by the Boxing Day floods in 2015.

It took four months to get the pub back up and running and reopened in April 2016.

An amber weather warning for rain has been issued by the Met Office across large parts of East Lancashire.

The amber warning- which brings the "potential risk to life and property" the forecaster says, will be in place from 3pm on Saturday to 3pm on Sunday.

The warning means Storm Dennis is likely to bring very heavy rain, flooding and disruption to travel over the weekend.