Flooding caused services at Tewkesbury’s community hospital to close and left a Cheltenham woman stranded for almost a day.
Heavy rainfall over Christmas left the hospital’s car park flooded meaning patients attending its minor injuries unit (MIU) were unable to see a doctor.
And residents were yesterday busy putting sandbags outside their homes as fears of flooding grew.
High winds were also so dangerous that the Avon lock keeper Bob Scarrott, 67, was unable to row back to his home in Tewkesbury where his friend Sue Eyles had been marooned overnight.
He said: “You learn to live with it and take the right precautions.
“It may not have been as bad as last year, but the floods are some of the worst we have seen since 1998, excluding the floods of 2007.
“In the past seven years, I have never had to resort to a contingency plan although, as lock keeper for Tewkesbury, safety is paramount.
“Sue was stranded, but we have everything you need at the house.”
The hospital’s MIU reopened yesterday after being closed on Boxing Day, although some flooding remained in the car park.
Julie Ellery, matron at Tewkesbury Community Hospital, said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that the closure has caused.
“There is still some flooding within the car park at Tewkesbury Community Hospital, meaning there is no parking or pedestrian access from the back of the hospital to the main entrance.
“As a result, we are diverting pedestrians to use the gated entrance through Barton Mews (a short distance from the old hospital entrance off Barton Street) to enable staff, patients and their visitors to access the hospital during the festive period.
“We expect this arrangement to be for a limited time only while water levels reduce. We would like to ask staff, patients and visitors to not park in Barton Mews, as this is a resident only area. The nearest pay and display car park to the hospital is at Cascades leisure centre.”
There had been rumours in the town that 4x4 vehicles were used to ferry patients to appointments, but that was denied by the hospital.
One 69-year-old from Alderton, who asked not to be named, said his wife had to be transferred to Cheltenham General Hospital with a suspected broken hand.
He added: “Given the history of flooding in Tewkesbury, who would have thought it a good idea to build a hospital on a flood plain?”
Despite the flooding, no one needed assistance from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue.
Retired Penny Scrivener, 68, explained that water from the River Severn has climbed up to her home.
She said: “We have become accustomed to this sort of monsoon-like weather.
“It can be quite spectacular.”
Kathy Bobs, who lives in Abbey Terrace, faced flood water in her garden and put out sandbags.
A playground at the Vineyards was submerged under the high water.
And postman Stuart Pringle faced a tricky path over the floodwater to deliver to the Abbey Mill.
Photographers taken from a light aircraft by Air Experiences flying over Tewkesbury showed the impact the flooding had on the town.
Philippa Shaw, executive officer at Tewkesbury Abbey, said: “Despite the floods, we have seen attendance at the abbey have gone up on last year.
“We feel sorry for those who have been affected.”