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Heavy rain, snow and strong winds are on the way.

The Metservice has issued two Severe Weather Watches for Hawke’s Bay and Tararua.

The first is a Heavy Rain Watch, where forecasters expect periods of heavy rain, with rainfall amounts approaching warning criteria.

Coastal areas could be most affected.

The Watch covers the period from 8 last night to 4pm today.

The second, a Strong Wind Watch, is for the period from 1pm to 11pm today, where west to southwest winds may reach severe gale in exposed places, with coastal areas again the most affected.

The wild weather is due to a slow-moving trough, and a low developing east of the North Island.

In addition, snow could lower to about 700 metres, and Metservice has issued a Road Snowfall Warning for the Napier-Taupo Road and the Desert Road.

For those using the Napier-Taupo Road, forecasters say showers may to turn to snow at the summit for a time late this morning.

One to two centimetres of snow is expected to fall between 11am and 3pm, but little, if any, is expected to settle on the road.

Metservice advises people to keep up to date with the latest forecasts.

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Battery thefts are still occurring in Central Hawke’s Bay.

In the past two weeks Police were alerted to batteries being stolen from an excavator and a pivot irrigator on Burnside Road in the Takapau area.

Senior Constable Andy Walker says farmers should be aware, with cases in the Highway 50 area in recent weeks.

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Uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions has seen the cancellation of the annual Waipawa Spring Festival and Duck Day this year.

The event was due to celebrate its 26th anniversary on October 9, but organisers said with uncertainty around whether the area would be in Alert Level 1 then, the tough decision was made to cancel.

Organisers did say that the popular Duck Race would be held when we return to Level 1, and the Make A Duck competition will also take place.

Duck race tickets will be available from usual retailers.

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Almost three quarters of the eligible Hawke’s Bay population has now been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

107,875 have had one dose, and 62,920 are fully vaccinated.

73% of eligible people in CHB have had at least one vaccination.