A FLOOD 'alert' for the River Ouse in York has been upgraded to a flood 'warning' as water levels rise faster than expected.

The Environment Agency issued the more severe warning on Sunday morning, saying there was a risk to riverside properties and at Naburn Lock.

A 'flood alert' simply means some flooding is possible and the public should be prepared. A 'flood warning' means flooding is expected and the public should take immediate action.

The agency today said: "River levels on the Ouse in York are rising faster than we had expected yesterday evening.

"The current level on the Ouse is 2.7m and is rising steadily. It can now be expected to reach 3m between 4am and 6am this morning (Sunday, February 10), peaking over 3m later in the morning.

"This may cause some flooding of property, and impact on access.

"Please stay aware of your surroundings and do not put yourself at risk. Keep an eye on local weather forecasts. Be prepared to act on your flood plan."

It said the River Ouse level upstream of Naburn Weir is 2.2m and "rising steadily".

The agency added: "We continue to monitor the situation, and will update this message later this morning, or if the situation changes."