A RADIANT smile spread across Amanda Farrell’s face as she opened the front door of her Yenda house two weeks ago.
She was home.
Behind her, three children bounded in, delighted to be back in familiar surroundings.
After more than six months of living in temporary accommodation in Griffith, the family’s Leaver Street home was finally ready to move into.
It’s a story being repeated right across Yenda, with about half of the town’s residents given the green light to return after the March floods.
Residents were evacuated on March 5 when emergency services realised an immense volume of water surging down Mirrool Creek would flood the village.
Most of the Farrells’ house was inundated by knee-deep water, destroying furniture and countless personal possessions.
But memories of the devastation began to fade as the family settled back into their beloved home.
“It is just amazing, it’s so good to be home,” Mrs Farrell said.
“There has been a big smile on my face for two weeks.
“It’s just great to be in Yenda; I missed hearing the birds and just the feel of Yenda. I can’t describe how great it is to be back.”
The family home has undergone some serious changes since the floods – the walls are newly painted, there are new tiles on the floor and a lot of furniture has been replaced.
Eight-year-old twins Jorja and Tristan and two-year-old Abbey were given new beds and “cool” new doona covers to mark their return to Yenda.
“The kids are doing OK,” Mrs Farrell said.
“I’d say there are still some things they haven’t noticed missing yet so we will have a few situations where they go to get something and realise it must’ve gone in the floods.
“They seem to have settled back in and are loving all of their new things.”
In addition to new belongings, there has been another silver lining to the disaster – a bonding experience.
Mrs Farrell said the family had become closer and residents who were only acquaintances 12 months ago had become firm friends.
“We’ve all come together to support each other and share our experiences,” Mrs Farrell said.
“New friendships have been formed, friendships that will last forever.”