A NUMBER of flood alerts remain in place for the Upper River Irwell and the Lower River Irwell.

The Environment Agency has issued warnings of possible flooding for  Haslingden, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall.

It's latest warning states: "River levels on the Upper Irwell are rising as a result of rainfall in the early hours of this morning. We expect river levels to remain high throughout the day. Our incident response staff are closely monitoring weather forecasts and river levels and will issue flood warnings if necessary. Please be aware of your surroundings and keep up to date with the current situation. This message will be updated on by 10:30 tomorrow morning."

Some 105 warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 207 alerts meaning flooding is possible, were in force across England after the third weekend of downpours that started with Storm Ciara and continued with Storm Dennis.

The torrents are contributing to record-high river levels and England has endured more than 141 per cent of its average February rainfall so far, said the Environment Agency.

It warned the country needs to brace itself for "more frequent periods of extreme weather like this" because of climate change.

The Met Office has forecast a week of widespread showery weather, while a warning for ice covering Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of northern England, remains in force until 10am on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Downing Street defended Prime Minister Boris Johnson's continued absence from flooded areas, with officials insisting it was important not to "distract" from the ongoing effort to deal with the problem.