THE Foss Barrier is operating in York tonight (Sunday) after rising river levels sparked earlier flood warnings.

The Environment Agency said river levels on the Ouse in York have now peaked - but is still warning people to be aware and not take risks.

A flood 'alert' for the River Ouse was upgraded to a more severe flood 'warning' early on Sunday after water levels started to rise faster than expected.

The Environment Agency, which issued the warning, said there was a risk of flooding 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 water levels are thought to have peaked mid-morning.

However, in a statement on Sunday evening the agency urged caution.

It said: "River levels on the Ouse in York are now at 3.02m and are falling slowly.

"Levels are expected to continue falling slowly through this evening and into tomorrow morning.

"The Foss Barrier is manned and is in operation. Please stay aware of your surroundings and do not put yourself at risk.

"Be prepared to act on your flood plan. We continue to monitor the situation."