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Flash Flood Watch in effect for the Gulf Coast, Bentley talks Medicaid

With all of the wet weather along the Gulf Coast, The National Weather service is issuing a Flash Flood Watch in that area for the next few days. 

The flood watch is effect for some areas until Saturday morning.  It stretches along the Gulf Coast from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

The NWS says periods of moderate to heavy rain are expected through Friday across portions of coastal southwest Alabama.

The weather service says significant rainfall accumulations could lead to flash flooding. Rainfall accumulations of 5 to 8 inches are possible, with higher totals in some areas.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley toured two Tuscaloosa mental health facilities yesterday in his push for additional Medicaid funding. APR’s Alex AuBuchon tagged along and has more.

Governor Bentley took some time out from his tour yesterday to pose for photos with patients and staff at Indian Rivers Mental Health Clinic.

The facility relies on Medicaid to provide many of its services, and the Governor is pushing a plan to get an additional $85 million to prevent deep cuts to the state Medicaid program.

Bentley praised Indian Rivers for their own cost-cutting measures, including using telemedicine in treatment.

“I do believe psychiatry is a field of medicine that really benefits from telemedicine. One of the things we wanted to do was have telemedicine all over the state, and to improve broadband all over the state so we could do that.”

Bentley has called a special session of the state legislature to begin Monday. He’s proposing a lottery to raise money for essential state services.

Students are making their way back to school and the parents need to make sure they’re caught up on their shots.  The Mobile County Health Department is helping out by offering walk-in services throughout the day today for immunizations.

Department spokesman Mark Bryant says while most of the immunizations are required there are exemptions…

“It’s better for the whole community if they get their vaccine, but if they still decide at that point, we give them the forms showing that they have been counseled to the effects of not getting their vaccines. We don’t force it on anybody but we have to report and register that yes they came here and didn’t want it for religious reasons.”

Bryant says some of the required vaccines include D-Tap which is for pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus and M-M-R which is measles and chicken pox.

The Mobile County Health department will be offering non-appointment service until nine-thirty this evening.

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