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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Flood misery engulfs US Midwest
Flooding in Fort Dodge, Iowa
Some residents have been better equipped to cope than others

Floods from a week of thunderstorms in the US Midwest have swamped thousands of homes and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people.

Further rain has pushed the floodwater higher in northern Illinois where people are using sandbags in a bid to keep back the rising Des Plaines river.

Seventeen deaths are attributed to the weather after early estimates of 25.

But weather forecasts suggest the storms have eased off in the Chicago area at least.

The states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota are cleaning up after their earlier flooding.

Michigan has also been battered by heavy storms, including tornadoes which destroyed or damaged several homes.

'Getting worse'

In the Chicago suburb of Prospect Heights, hundreds of people were piling sandbags against 1-m (4-ft) concrete barriers along the Des Plaines on Friday.

"It's just getting worse," fire chief Don Gould told |the Associated Press.

"All these people will be flooded out if we don't move quick."

More than half a million utility customers were left by the storms without power in the Chicago area and about 148,000 remained without electricity on Friday night

A hospital in Dyer, Indiana, to the south-east of Chicago, was being evacuated as water from a flooded creek seeped in.

Midwest awash after heavy storms
24 Aug 07 |  Americas
In pictures: Deadly US floods
23 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
Hurricane blows over Mexican Gulf
22 Aug 07 |  Americas
US Midwest heatwave kills dozens
20 Aug 07 |  Americas

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