Receding floodwaters give up trove of strange debris

July 8, 2008 11:08:29 AM PDT
As floodwaters retreat across the Midwest, remnants of the lives touched by raging rivers and swollen lakes are popping up miles from those who lost them. Duffels of police riot gear. Thousands of pens and highlighters. Everything from children's toys to water heaters to dog houses and pistols have been found as the waters pull back.

Environmentalist Tammy Becker is working with Living Lands and Waters, a river-cleanup crew based in East Moline, Illinois. The group has pulled in tons of debris, much of it lacking identifiers that could reunite it with its owners.

Most has gotten hauled off in the group's boats to a collection site near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where it's culled by content and hauled away to landfills or incinerators.