Local authorities are on high alert with a heavy rain warning in place for Hawke’s Bay.
The orange heavy rain warning came into effect at eight o’clock last night, and is in place until 1pm today.
80 to 100mm of rain is expected about the ranges, and 40 to 70mm about coastal areas, with peak intensities of 10 to 15mm per hour.
The Tararua District has a heavy rain watch in place until 3pm today.
The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is urging residents to be prepared for further road slips across the rural road network.
There is particular concern for Cooks Tooth Road and Wimbledon Road.
The Council says rural roads have been hammered by an unrelenting series of heavy rainfalls, strong winds, and earthquake tremors over the past three months, and there is great concern that existing major damage will dramatically worsen with the forecast weather.
There are already 35 major slips across the district, with the ground at saturation point.
Mayor Alex Walker says the level of damage is the worst state our roads have been in for decades.
There were nearly 1400 lightning strikes recorded between Dannevirke and Napier on Wednesday.
The Metservice said the bulk of the lightning was around Dannevirke.
Lightning struck a tree on Stanley Street, with a hitchhiker who was sheltering underneath it, taken to Palmerston North Hospital.
He was initially reported to be in a serious condition, however has since been released.
Free return buses from Central Hawke’s Bay to the Hastings Blossom Festival will be available to the public.
The 2022 Blossom Festival kicks-off tonight with an outdoor movie screening of “Grease”.
Tomorrow is the main day of the three-day Festival, with carnival rides, a giant inflatable slide, an outdoor pump track, and entertainment.
The annual Blossom Parade will start at 1pm, with the day’s events scheduled to wrap-up around 9pm.
Free buses will leave Waipukurau at 9am, 10.30am and 3pm tomorrow, with four return bus rides beginning at 3.45pm.
Pickups and drop-offs will also be made in Waipawa and Otane.
Norsewood will celebrate 150 years of Scandinavian settlement tomorrow.
The day will include stories from settlers descendants, as well as demonstrations of the way things were done 150 years ago such as log splitting, coffee grinding, sewing and spinning.
A celebration cake will also be cut, with tours throughout the Norsewood Village available.
The day will start at 10am tomorrow.
The Waipukurau Ladies F Grade Squash team had a convincing win on the first day of competition at the Squash NZ Superchamps in Ashburton yesterday.
Team Manager, Nicki Heremaia, said the Waipukurau side went into the competition as the top ranked team for their division.
Yesterday they played Browns Bay, winning 5-nil.
Today there are two matches for the Waipukurau team – Putaruru and Hamilton.
It’s the battle of the bays this weekend in the Bunnings Warehouse NPC.
Hawke’s Bay is on the road for their round 8 game against Bay of Plenty at the Tauranga Domain at 2.05pm tomorrow.
The Magpies currently sit two points behind the Steamers on the NPC table, with 25.
Our 2022 Magpies coverage is thanks to The Leopard Hotel in Waipukurau.