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Heavy rainfall lashes Laingsburg

Residents were stranded for hours due to road closures and interrupted communications.

An overflowing river caused by heavy rains in Laingsburg. Picture: @FaanConradie via Twitter

CAPE TOWN - A Laingsberg cafe owner says the heavy rainfall has been an inconvenience to residents as well as other people passing through the town.

Heavy rains have lashed the area over the last three days, causing major damage to roads.

While rivers near the central Karoo town have filled up fast, water pipes have also been damaged, cutting off water supplies to many homes and businesses. Some homes had to be evacuated.

Laingsburg residents say flooded rivers and heavy downpours reminded them of the deadly 1981 floods, when at least 104 people died and the town was left devastated.

Cafe owner Nicky Theron says, "At the moment all is quiet, everything is under control. The municipality is providing water by tank and we are using that for now."

While the N1 through Laigsberg has been reopened after being briefly closed on Wednesday, the pass at Meiringspoort has since been closed to traffic due to flooding.

Rescue teams were set up in the Karoo town, while helicopters were on standby in case the situation worsened.

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service has issued a warning for heavy rainfall over the next few days.