POWERFUL waves are set to batter the Cumbrian coast and could pose a risk of flooding.

The Environment Agency has closed flood gates and issued a flood alert covering the coastline from St Bees Head to Millom.

The alert - one of three affecting Cumbria and southwest Scotland - says large and powerful waves are expected as a result of onshore winds, with tides at their highest between 11am and 1pm.

"Flooding to roads and farmland is possible at these times, however conditions may apply two to four hours either side of the high tide.

"Flooding will affect low lying land, roads and coastal paths at St Bees, Coulderton, Nethertown, Braystones, Seascale, Saltcoats, Ravenglass and Haverigg."

A second flood alert for the county has been issue for the upper River Derwernt, Stonethwaite Beck and Derwentwater.

Lake levels in Derwentwater are still rising following overnight rain. The forecast is for the lake levels to peak at around 1.7 metres today and then gradually start to fall, though levels are forecast to stay above flood alert levels throughout the day.

The EA says forecast rain tomorrow may cause levels to rise slightly and low lying areas could be affected.

Further north, a flood alert has been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for Dumfries and Galloway warning of the potential for coastal flooding.

SEPA said: "At greatest risk are areas of the coast exposed to the west. Overtopping of defences by waves and spray is possible. "Impacts could include disruption to travel and flooding of isolated properties.

"The times of greatest risk are a few hours either side of high water, which will occur late morning on Friday. There may also be some impacts around high water at midnight on Friday into Saturday."