AUTHORITIES have warned of potential flooding as heavy rain causes river levels to rise.

The Environment Agency has released a flood alert over the level of the River Irwell and the River Croal.

It follows a long period of persistent rain which is expected to continue through the night.

In a statement, the agency said levels will peak at around 9pm and confirmed that teams are currently clearing sections of the rivers to avoid overflows.

The statement said: "River levels have risen at the Littleborough river gauge as a result of heavy rainfall.

"Consequently, flooding of low lying land, roads and farmland is possible from approximately 12:15 today, (November 7).

"We believe there is a possibility of flooding for low lying land and roads around the Rivers Beal, Roch and Croal, Limy Water and their tributaries. Further rainfall is forecast throughout today."