A FLOOD alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for rivers in the south east Somerset area.

Levels are forecast to rise later this afternoon in response to the heavy rainfall forecast today (Thursday, January 4), causing a risk of flooding to low lying land.

Areas most vulnerable to flooding are the Sparkford to Weston Bampfylde road and Deep Ford Lane, Chetnole.

The flood alert covers the following rivers: River Yeo from Sherborne to Yeovil, River Wriggle, Barwick Stream, West Coker Stream and the River Cam.Somerset County Gazette: A map of the area surrounding Yeovil encompassed by the flood alert.A map of the area surrounding Yeovil encompassed by the flood alert. (Image: Environment Agency)

A band of heavy and persistent rain is forecast from midday today and through to around midnight tonight - rivers will respond and further flood warnings may be issued.

The forecast for tomorrow will be mostly dry but with the possibility of isolated, light showers.

The weekend is forecast to be generally dry.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "We continue to monitor rainfall and river levels and are checking rivers for blockages in the area.

"Consider local conditions, weather forecasts and any flood plans you have.

"Avoid using low lying footpaths and any bridges near local watercourses and do not attempt to drive, walk or cycle through flood water."

An update from the Environment Agency is to be provided by 2pm tomorrow (Friday, January 5).