IT'S the sight many Yenda residents feared they may never see.
Nearly 18 months to the day since floods devastated the town, Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) excavators went to work last week on the controversial East Mirrool Regulator (EMR).
The work, costed at $100,000 finished over the weekend and removed a top layer of dirt from the channel bank and exposed "drop boards", allowing the SES to operate the regulator in another flood.
The EMR is located where the Mirrool Creek meets the main canal and Yenda residents claim if it had not been decommissioned by MI, it could have diverted floodwaters away from the town.
Yenda community leaders have run a furious campaign to have the regulator reinstated, and while they welcomed the latest work, they fear it doesn't go far enough.
"It's not going to do much in the event of another large flood," Yenda Progress Association president Kay Pellizzer said.
"It's good to see work starting there but if a large volume of water comes down Mirrool Creek again, it will need a bigger area to go through."
Griffith councillor and president of the Yenda Flood Victims Association Paul Rossetto described the work as a "short-term fix".
"MI has no flood planning ability it's out of their legal jurisdiction but I thank them for at least commencing this work," Mr Rossetto said.
"But the long-term fix can only be a siphon. If we don't get it built quickly and we receive 100mm of rain in a week, we will get significant run-off there.
"There will be 30,000 megalitres of water in the catchment area and we can only drain 1500 megalitres a day, meaning a critical breach could occur again."
MI's executive manager for infrastructure planning, Rob Kelly, conceded the work was not a panacea.
"All we've done is reinstate the partial operation of the regulator and it's what we agreed with council we would do," Mr Kelly said.
"It's an interim step and it will allow the SES to operate the regulator in another event.
"Once council's flood plan is done, we can come up with better solutions to better manage a flood."