MORE than half of Yenda flood victims are still waiting to return home almost a year on from the disaster that changed their lives forever.
Next month will mark the first anniversary of the devastating flood that displaced hundreds of Yenda residents from their homes.
But about 60 per cent of them are still living in temporary accommodation while they wait for repairs to be completed or in some cases, begin.
Dane and Angela Vearing had expected to be back home for Christmas last year, but construction on their Dredge Street home is still one month away from completion.
Living with their two young boys Kade, 4, and Jaden, 1, in half of Mr Vearing's parent's house, the family cannot wait to get home.
"We had no idea it would take this long, we though we'd be back in a few weeks," Mrs Vearing said.
"We're really lucky we had family to stay with and it was alright for a couple of months but now we need our own space."
Repairs could not begin on the house until September last year after one and a half metres of water inundated the property six months prior and pooled beneath the floor.
"We had to wait for underneath the house to dry out before they could start," Mrs Vearing said.
"A lot of houses that they fixed straight away are starting to have problems now."
The couple had their wedding planned for March 10 last year but their special day was called off after the venue - a Yenda backyard - was inundated.
Not to be discouraged, they postponed and were married on May 26 last year.
"I just can't wait to get back, even just for the kids," Mrs Vearing said.
"We come past all the time so they can play - Kade especially just wants to be back with his own things."
The road to recovery will be a long one for Yenda, with some houses condemned for destruction and some residents still waiting to settle insurance claims.
Local tradesmen including cabinet makers, tilers, painters and builders have been struggling to keep up with demand.
Single mum Cathleen Mills, who has been living in a caravan and converted garden shed with her two young children, does not expect to be back home until winter.
The Railway Avenue resident has family in Grafton and said the recent floods there had brought back some tough memories.
Ms Mills wanted to wait until her house was completely dry before beginning repairs, but said it had been a tough wait and she was ready for work to begin.
"It's getting a bit tedious now, I can't wait to get back into a proper home environment and we all want our own space - patience is running out," Ms Mills said.
"It's been a tough year - I'm not looking forward to March and a lot of people are in the same boat, you don't want it to happen again but it's always in the back of your mind."
Ms Mills said it was especially tough for her son Bailey, who missed having his friends around to play with.
"A lot of his friends are still living in Griffith," she said.
"He can't just go up the road and play anymore."