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Kauai's Hanalei Colony Resort to remain shut through Sept. 1 because of highway's flood damage

Kauai's Hanalei Colony Resort to remain shut through Sept. 1 because of highway's flood damage
Limahuli Gardens, shown here before massive flooding two months ago, is closed indefinitely as repair work continues to infrastructure along Kauai's North Shore. (Tor Johnson / Hawaii Tourism Authority)

A remote Kauai resort set on the sands of Hanalei Bay will remain closed until at least Sept. 1 as the island’s North Shore continues to recover from historic flooding, according to an announcement Monday.

Hanalei Colony Resort said that reservations through Sept. 1 are being canceled and refunded in full. The statement also said “additional cancellation dates are pending the progression of recovery in flood-affected areas.”

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A lanai and balcony at Hanalei Colony Resort overlook the Pacific Ocean. While the remote resort wasn't badly damaged during April's massive storm, the road leading to it remains off-limits to visitors.
A lanai and balcony at Hanalei Colony Resort overlook the Pacific Ocean. While the remote resort wasn't badly damaged during April's massive storm, the road leading to it remains off-limits to visitors. (Hanalei Colony Resort)

Work continues after a massive storm that stalled over the North Shore dropped 28 inches of rain in 24 hours from April 14 to 15. The only road through the area, the westernmost stretch of Kuhio Highway, was severely damaged by flooding and mudslides.

Although initial reports indicated the resort had not been heavily affected by the storm, later assessments revealed significant damage to various facilities, including the housekeeping and maintenance facilities and the swimming pool.

In a May 23 proclamation, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho ordered a 60-day extension to an emergency rule banning the operation of all overnight accommodations. The order allows road access beyond Hanalei town only to full-time residents and other authorized persons.

Hawaii Magazine in 2015 said the nine miles of highway now off-limits to tourists “may be the coolest little road trip in the state.”

Kee Beach in Haena State Park, shown here before the April rains, typically draws large crowds to the Napali Coast.
Kee Beach in Haena State Park, shown here before the April rains, typically draws large crowds to the Napali Coast. (Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

The road closure means that three visitor attractions beyond Hanalei remain inaccessible. They are Haena State Park, with its stunning beach; and the adjacent Napali Coast State Wilderness Park and Limahuli Garden & Preserve, home to dozens of indigenous and endangered birds and plants. According to the garden’s website, much of its flora and fauna are “found nowhere else on earth.”

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9:35 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details about damage. The article was originally published at 6:15 a.m.

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