GRAVES in a community cemetery were underwater this week after heavy rain caused the water level in a nearby river to overflow.

Tonge Cemetery has had repeated problems with drainage over the years and recent wet weather in the area has caused older sections of the graveyard to become flooded.

The problems were at their worst on Wednesday afternoon, when at least three separate locations, mostly in older parts of the cemetery, were flooded.

Bolton Council said workers had previously attempted to address the issue but that the level of the river means water has nowhere to drain to.

A spokesman for the authority said: “There can be problems in certain older sections of the cemetery during periods of heavy rainfall because the water cannot drain away into the River Tonge due to the rising water level. However, the problem does rectify itself once the rain subsides."

The flooding eased later in the week and forecasters expect dry, mild conditions throughout the weekend. Temperatures are likely to rise to around 12°C on Saturday and Sunday.