As Kauai residents affected by devastating floods last week slowly start to put their lives back together, visitors planning late spring or summer vacations on the Garden Island may wonder what lies in store for them.

Many have been calling the office of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, according to director Sue Kanoho, who said, "The first thing out of our mouths is 'Where are you staying and have you reconfirmed with your provider?' "

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While nearly all hotels, restaurants and activity providers are open for business, Kanoho explained, vacation rentals remain a concern, especially on the North Shore from Hanalei to Haena, which sustained the brunt of property damage. A number of low-lying homes in Anahola, Kalihiwai and Koloa also flooded.

While most hotels and resorts remain open, several popular state parks (like Polihale on the southwest side of the island), hiking trails (along the famous Napali coast) and beaches are closed due to flooding, brown water or accessibility issue.

Immediately following the floods, airlines issued ticket change fee waivers for flights to the island's main airport at Lihue. Hawaiian Airlines is the broadest, allowing those holding tickets to Kauai for trips through April 30 to change to another destination by May 7 without penalty. United does not appear to be offering a change fee waiver at this time, nor does Alaska Air. Currently, the cheapest airfares from the Bay Area to Kauai are on American Airlines via LAX for $366 round trip. Nonstops are in the $450+ range.

Lodgings that may not have been damaged by rapidly rising waters may still have access issues, Kanoho noted. Kuhio Highway, the lone road connecting the North Shore to the rest of the island, is closed indefinitely from Waikoko on the north side of Hanalei Bay to Haena, where the road ends at Kee Beach, due to more than a dozen landslides and several washed-out portions.

The most dramatic damage in Hanalei is centered in the area near the Pier and Weke Road. Hanalei town is reportedly pretty much back to normal after receiving nearly 30 inches of rain in just 24 hours last weekend.

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Receding floods on Hawaii's Kauai island revealed destroyed or damaged homes and vehicles. Dozens of people were rescued after more than 28 inches of rain fell in one 24-hour period over the weekend. (April 17)

Media: Associated Press

Although Hanalei Colony Resort, a beachfront hotel-condo resort in Haena, suffered little storm damage, it has canceled all reservations through May 31 due to ongoing "flood response and recovery efforts," which includes feeding and housing displaced locals, and the highway's inaccessibility. The Hawaii Department of Transportation hopes to open a one-lane route from Waikoko to Haena on or before May 7, but will limit its use to "emergency access" until further notice. Insiders familiar with the damage say it may take six months or more to restore full access to the road, famed for its one-lane bridges.

Several popular state parks also remain closed indefinitely, pending assessment of damages and completion of repairs, according to the most recent announcement from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources:

* On the North Shore, Haena State Park and Napali Coast State Wilderness Park (home of the popular 11-mile Kalalau Trail) not only rely on access from Kuhio Highway, but may also need repairs to trails and other facilities. Several hundred campers and hikers had to be airlifted from the region last week. Those parks' closure "will likely be for an extended period."

* On the East Side, the North Fork area of Wailua River State Park is closed "pending damage and safety assessment," while floating debris continues to be removed from the marina area. The park's upland overlooks (including one of Opaekaa Falls) and temple sites are open, however; according to Kanoho, kayaking on the river should resume by Monday.

* On the West Side, Polihale State Park had already been closed due to flooding of its entrance road from a previous storm, and will remain so as repairs "are being procured."

Other than Haena and Hanalei Black Pot beach parks, county beach facilities are open, although a brown water advisory currently warns against swimming. (It's always a good idea to check the Kauai Ocean Report, which has daily updates for all lifeguarded beaches, before heading out.) The beach at Lydgate Park, a county facility known for its protected snorkeling, also received "a tremendous amount of logs and debris," Kanoho noted. "Those will take a little bit to get all that out."

Bette Midler is tweeting photos about the floods:

A few paid attractions on the island are also currently out of commission. The National Tropical Botanical Garden's branch in Haena, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, is closed until further notice; staff are advising visitors to consider "making a donation or visiting one of our other locations" — i.e. the South Shore's Allerton and McBryde gardens — "to assist with recovery efforts."

At Ainana Hou Community Park in Kilauea, the scenic Wai Koa Loop Trail and Stone Dam are also off-limits due to storm damage, but the park's mini golf and garden are open. The park currently serves as a drop-off center for food, medicine and cleaning items being ferried to the isolated North Shore residents.

While Kuhio Highway from Princeville to Hanalei has reopened, it can be very slow-going, given the number of relief and rebuilding efforts taking place. Visitors streaming in to take pictures of a sand-surrounded Hanalei Pier or damaged beachfront homes in Hanalei only add to traffic woes. "I'm hoping people will be sensitive to the fact that this is a hometown for some," said Kanoho.

The Hawaii News Now site offers more details and dramatic photos of flood damage. 

To donate to or volunteer for flood relief, check out the links and updates on the website of Malama Kauai.

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Chris McGinnis is the founder of TravelSkills.com. The author is solely responsible for the content above, and it is used here by permission.  You can reach Chris at chris@travelskills.com or on Twitter @cjmcginnis.