A FLOOD alert has been issued for Middleton in Teesdale and Barnard Castle, with people in the area being urged to take extra care.

The Environment Agency said the area is experiencing heavy rainfall and the River Tees is rising.

“The main areas of concern are Middleton in Teesdale and Barnard Castle, where levels suggest that there could be flooding to low lying land and roads close to the river between 1am and 8am tomorrow morning (Wednesday 13th September),” the agency said.

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“We expect the river to remain high throughout tonight into tomorrow morning, though no flooding to properties is currently forecast and warnings are not expected to be issued.

“Take care near the areas of concern and monitor your local weather conditions.

“Avoid walking or driving along riverside roads and footpaths. We are monitoring river levels closely and our operational teams are out on the ground checking and clearing any blockages from rivers.

“This message will be updated at 8am tomorrow morning or earlier if the situation changes.”

The UK is currently being battered by Storm Aileen, the first named storm of the season.