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Heavy rainfall to lash NSW again

One of the wettest summers on record is set to continue with more heavy falls expected for eastern NSW followed by gusty winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the potential remains high for heavy falls along the state’s coast, and landslides are also possible with roads inundated.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Jonathan How said a low pressure system will bring strong and gusty winds in the second half of the week to areas including Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra.

Fresh flooding will impact the mental wellbeing of northern NSW residents already devastated by the February floods, an expert has warned.

University of Sydney mental health professor James Bennett-Levy said another bout of flooding could seriously affect those in the middle of a long clean-up from the previous catastrophe.

“There is extreme distress because what it (the floods) does is re-trigger and re-traumatise people who have already been severely traumatised,” he told AAP.

Dr Bennett-Levy, who directs the Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, said “very high levels” of post-traumatic stress disorder are expected.

“It is not just people directly affected, there is collective trauma because just about everyone in the community knows … multiple people … whose houses have been inundated,” he said.

In a study conducted after the 2017 floods, Dr Bennett-Levy along with other researchers found 50 per cent of people displaced for more than six months in the same region had PTSD.

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