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Floods Generate 4 Decades' Worth of Junk in German Valley

FILE-People clean their homes from mud and debris in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Hundreds of thousands of tons of junk have been removed from a valley in western Germany since it was devastated by flooding in mid-July, equivalent to four decades' worth of garbage, authorities said Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)
FILE-People clean their homes from mud and debris in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Hundreds of thousands of tons of junk have been removed from a valley in western Germany since it was devastated by flooding in mid-July, equivalent to four decades' worth of garbage, authorities said Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)

Berlin (AP) -- Hundreds of thousands of tons of junk have been removed from a valley in western Germany since it was devastated by flooding in mid-July, equivalent to four decades' worth of garbage, authorities said Friday.

More than 180 people died in Germany and hundreds more were injured in the July 14-15 floods, which also claimed lives in neighboring Belgium. Heavy rainfall turned small streams into raging torrents, sweeping away houses, bridges and cars. The narrow Ahr valley suffered the most destruction.