US braces for tsunami debris, but impact unclear

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press
The tsunami that devastated Japan more than one year ago washed millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

People wait for rescue on the rooftop of a ruined building tangled with tsunami-drifted debris in Rikuzentakada, Iwate Prefecture, Saturday morning, March 12, 2011 after Japan's biggest recorded earthquake slammed into its eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING ALLOWED IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE

The tsunami that devastated Japan more than one year ago washed millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

But the U.S. government and several West Coast states still don't have a clear plan for how to clean up rubble that floats to American shores.

There's also no firm handle on what to expect.

The Japanese government estimates 1.5 million tons of debris is floating from the catastrophe. Some U.S. experts think the bulk of that will never reach shore. But others fear a massive, slowly-unfolding environmental disaster.

Oregon got a bulky remnant of the tsunami this week: A concrete and metal dock. It measured 66 feet long, seven tall and 19 feet wide. Japanese officials say the dock broke away from northern Japan during the tsunami.


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