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Last Updated: Sunday September 14 2008 13:50 GMT

Rescue operation begins in Texas

Man searches amongst the debris following the storm

A huge rescue operation has begun in Texas in America after the state was battered by Hurricane Ike.

Strong winds and torrential rain brought chaos to the area, and thousands of people fled their homes.

Emergency services teams are using boats, lorries and helicopters to bring to safety those people who ignored orders to leave the area.

A least two people died in Texas and Louisiana, and the storm destroyed houses and flattened homes.

The storm also cut power to millions of buildings and many have also been left without water.

US President George Bush will visit the area on Tuesday and charities are working on getting aid to those whose homes have been flooded.

Tropical storm

Boy drives a bicycle along flooded road
Boy drives a bicycle along flooded road

Ike has been downgraded to a tropical storm, as it moved inland with top sustained winds of nearly 60mph (95km/h).

It's now moving towards north-east Texas and is expected to reach western Arkansas on Sunday.

Earlier, Ike caused devastation in Cuba and Haiti, where hundreds of people have died as the result of several tropical storms over the last month.