RIVER levels are rising in York and flood warnings are now in place for the city centre.

The Environment Agency has put out a flood warning for riverside properties in the city centre and for the Ouse at St George's Field.

The Ouse is expected to reach its peak of 4m mid to late morning tomorrow [Monday].

The Foss Barrier is now in operation, an agency spokesman said, and several other small flood gates in the city have been closed.

They added: "Our York incident room is open and our duty team is closely monitoring the situation. We also have our teams out on the ground, checking that our defences are working properly and clearing any blockages. We are not expecting there to be any issues."

The King's Arms pub on King's Staithe - which regularly floods - closed at 5.30pm with water levels already close to the front door and expected to rise to around 3.8m by midnight.

Firefighters have also been called out to a string of flood rescues across the county. At around 10.15am today, crews from Ripon had to use an inflatable boat to tow a couple in their 50s to safety after their BMW got stuck in flood waters in Bishop Monkton.

The pair had tried to get through a long stretch of flood water and made it around 90 percent of the way before their car stalled and they called for help, a fire and rescue spokesman said.

Later this afternoon, firefighters walked three people, aged around 65, to safety at a caravan park in Knaresborough.

The crews had been called at around 2.30pm by worried park residents stranded in their static caravans as waters rose at the site on the banks of the Nidd.

The official flood warnings warnings say: "Heavy rainfall that has fallen over the Pennines during the last 24 hours is causing levels on the River Ouse to begin to rise.

"The current level at York is 3metres or 9 feet 10 inches. We are expecting levels to rise slowly this evening, and current forecasts indicate levels could reach 4m or 13 feet 1 inch tomorrow.

"This is an early forecast as levels in the upper catchments continue to rise. We will continue to monitor the situation and update this message accordingly."

Flood warnings were already in place for the Ouse at Naburn Lock, the Nidd at Knaresborough and at Cattal, the Ure at Roecliffe, and the Wharfe in Tadcaster and Wetherby The Viking monitoring station in central York has seen the Ouse's levels rise steadily from just over 2.6m in the early hours of this morning, to 3m at 4pm this afternoon.


•Check here for updates later in the day and contact newsdesk@thepress.co.uk or @yorkpress with details and pictures of flooding in your area.