THE Foss barrier has tonight, Sunday, been operated as river levels in York continue to rise.

A flood alert was issued for the River Ouse earlier today warning people to "be prepared" and to avoid low lying footpaths.

The Environment Agency said river levels were rising as a result of heavy rainfall across the area and upper catchments over the last 24 hours.

It said the water level could peak at around midnight, and the Foss barrier would be operated if necessary.

This evening, the Environment Agency confirmed the barrier was in use.

It said: "In response to yesterday’s rainfall we’ve just operated the Foss Barrier.

"We use the barrier regularly to help manage the levels of the rivers in York."