Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 17:20 UK

In pictures: Hurricane hits US

A car is washed away in Gulfport, Mississippi, 01/09

After leaving a trail of destruction throughout the Caribbean, Hurricane Gustav finally crashed into the US coast on Monday afternoon.

A woman walks through the rain in New Orleans, 01/09

The Upper Ninth ward of New Orleans, one of the worst-affected areas when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, quickly felt the effects of some heavy rain from Gustav.

The Industrial Canal flood walls, New Orleans, 01/09

But Gustav had been downgraded to a Category Two storm by the time it hit the US coast, and it was hoped the city's flood protection measures would hold out.

Dawn over Bourbon Street in New Orleans

New Orleanians - or the few that were left in the city - woke to a bleak morning, as Gustav approached the Louisiana coast. It was feared the storm could strike at the same strength as Katrina.

New Orleans

Almost two million people have followed the authorities' advice and left the area, but some people have stayed behind, choosing to see out the storm.

Man looks out of a window of a bar in New Orleans

Bars seem to be a popular place to see the storm unfold - and avoid the 10pm curfew.

New Orleans Bourbon Street

The usually buzzing streets of New Orleans were mainly deserted as the first storm winds and rains hit the city.

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On the coast, Gustav's winds brought storm surges, washing over Highway 90 in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Storm waves in Mobile, Alabama

Forecasters have warned that the surge could be "extremely dangerous", reaching 14ft (4.2m) above normal.

Weather specialists at National Hurricane Center

The strength of Hurricane Gustav has been downgraded from a Category Three to a Category Two, but there is still a risk to life and property.

Crew from weather channel reported from  French Quarter in New Orleans

But whatever the weather, television crews are planning to cover Hurricane Gustav, which the New Orleans mayor dubbed "the mother of all storms".




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