PROLONGED heavy rainfall in St Helens threatens to spark renewed flooding at blackspots around the town.

Originally weather forcasters had predicted that the heavy rain would clear up by midday on Saturday, but now there's a weather warning for more rain lasting until midnight in the area accompanied by strong winds.

They also predict that Sunday should bring a brief respite, but more heavy rain is forecast for Christmas Eve.

The Met Office says: "Further bands of heavy rain accompanied by strong to gale force winds at times are expected to move northeastwards across many parts of the UK through Saturday and Sunday. Given that the ground is already saturated, the public should be aware of the risk of further localised flooding. The rain should largely clear away northeastwards on Sunday morning."