by Cathy Jones
While Strathfield has sustained little damage in the recent downpours, Strathfield used to experience significant flooding especially in areas close to Cooks River, Powell’s Creek and Saleyards Creek. Though Strathfield appears to be inland, the Council area is bisected by the Cooks River with a number of small creeks. Many are no longer visable as they have built over but open creeks and canals can be observed in various parts of the area such as Rochester Street Homebush and Mandemar Ave Homebush West. 53% of the area is in the Cooks River catchment, while the other 47% flows to Parramatta River.
I recall in the past seeing cars floating in rising waters on Raw Square under the railway bridge, homes under water in Redmyre Road, overflows along the Cooks River such Ford Park, Prentice Reserve etc. There are historic accounts of drownings and flooding on sites close to the Cooks River as well as large watercourses in Elva Street Strathfield and Cooke Park at Belfield. The photo above is in Bates Street Homebush near Airey Park Homebush and dated 1990. In the mid-1990s, Strathfield Council applied a rate increase to improve its stormwater systems. These works have obviously assisted in addressing the historic flooding issues in this area.