When Bill Gallus Jr. was 12, the budding weather junkie witnessed the 1977 Johnstown flood and its aftermath — a community rebuilding following a deadly natural disaster.
Now an accomplished meteorologist and a professor at Iowa State University, Gallus spent last week in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., studying the effects of 200-mph winds on homes and other structures.
He is part of a research team generating information that could help engineers and construction companies build structures that can withstand such storms.
Joplin is unique in that so many very large structures were hit — a hospital, a high school, some big-box retail stores, Gallus said in a telephone interview.
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