ROADS turned to rivers, homes were flooded and motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles as fears of the 2007 floods echoed across the Stroud district this week.

Emergency crews were out all week rescuing stricken motorists, clearing gullies and pumping water from flooded homes after heavy rain  drenched the Five Valleys.

Across the region, dozens of roads were closed or became impassable.

The Ebley bypass turned into a small lake and had to be closed from noon on Wednesday, leading to severe congestion on the Ebley Road route into Stroud with queues stretching back to the M5.

At the same time, two southbound lanes on the motorway were closed between junctions 12 and 13 because of flooding.

The Ebley bypass reopened the following day but was shut again from 3am to 6am on Sunday.

It all started on Tuesday when up to 30mm of rain fell overnight on already sodden land.

In Stroud, parts of Stratford Park Leisure Centre including the main hall were closed due to flooding and firefighters pumped water from Slad Road after blocked drains caused flooding near the Co-op store.

Richard Wiseman, 56, built a 5ft plywood and timber fortress around his home in Standish Court, Standish after a small stream turned into a 'monstrous torrent'.

"In 2007 we were completely flooded out. We had to move out of our home for six months and it cost us £60,000," said Mr Wiseman, a marine consultant who lives with his wife Vivian.

"This time water started coming through our front door and we realised that if we didnÕt do something we would lose our home again."

Luckily, the boarding did the trick and kept water from his property.

Initially, Mr Wiseman used plywood to partially block the stream but this led to a field becoming flooded and he was told to remove the blockage. Mr Wiseman and his neighbours are now looking at longer term solutions to the problem.

In Brimscombe, a footpath turned into a small waterfall due to a broken culvert and there were fears shops on the London Road could

Meanwhile, villagers in Chalford laid hundreds of sandbags along the canal which burst its banks.

The rising River Frome caused problems in Stonehouse and Eastington where homes and gardens were flooded and even Javelin Park near Haresfield - the proposed site for a £500 million waste incinerator - was completely underwater.

Elsewhere, Leonard Stanley Primary was among 14 schools in the county forced to close.