CUMBRIA should brace itself for "Storm Dennis" levels or rainfall and possible further flooding, the Environment Agency has warned.

There are currently 20 flood alerts in force across the county and one flood warning.

In a statement today, Sharon Kennedy from the Environment Agency said: "There is currently a yellow warning for rainfall in the Eden Valley, which is in place until 3pm today.

"We could experience short, high-intensity rainfall, with a chance of some snowfall on higher ground.

"River levels could show a significant response, with some fast-moving catchments reacting quickly and larger catchments peaking later. It's likely that the rainfall could be similar to that in Storm Dennis, with low lying roads, parks and some isolated properties being flooded.

"Additional rainfall is also forecast over the weekend. If the forecast remains as it is at present, additional flood alerts and warnings could be issued over the coming days. Some flooding impacts are possible between today and Sunday."

The current flood warning - which means immediate action is needed - is at Keswick Campsite.

The Environment Agency says that the level of Derwentwater lake has continued to drop slowly but remains high.

Consequently, flooding of low lying land and roads is expected to continue.

The current flood alerts - which means those affected should be prepared for possible flooding - are in force for all the major Carlisle area rivers, including the Eden, Caldew and Petteril.

The Environment Agency website said last night: "River levels are forecast to rise as a result of heavy rainfall.

"Consequently, flooding of roads and low-lying land is expected. Low-lying land and roads in the Crosby-on-Eden, Linstock, Carlisle and Rockcliffe areas may be affected. High river levels are possible on the River Eden, River Caldew, River Petteril, Durranhill Beck, Brunstock Beck, Gosling Sike, Little Caldew, Parham Beck, Rockcliffe Beck and their tributaries."

The overnight rainfall was expected to produce continuing high river levels throughout today.

In west Cumbria, flood alerts are currently in place for several of the area's key rivers - the Cocker, Marron and Derwent.

They will see their levels rise following the overnight rain.

Consequently, flooding of roads and low lying land was expected.

Low-lying land and roads in the Buttermere, Lorton Valley, Cockermouth, Branthwaite, Bridgefoot, Camerton, Barepot and Workington areas were likely to be affected.

High river levels were also said to be possible on the River Cocker, Whit Beck, River Derwent, River Marron, Lostrigg Beck and their tributaries.

With further rainfall forecasted overnight and into today, experts expect river levels across the area to remain high.

The Environment Agency website said: "We are closely monitoring the situation. Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded."