MCD’s Citizen Precipitation Observer of 51 Years Retiring at Age 96, Son to Carry on Legacy

Provided by The Miami Conservancy District

MIAMI COUNTY - For 51 years, Dorothy Stebbins has measured precipitation (rain, snow, sleet & hail) 365 days a year for the Miami Conservancy District’s (MCD) Precipitation Observer Network. Dorothy is one of 42 citizen observers that has been a rock star for MCD. Dorothy has faithfully performed this work for the benefit of the region. The data that Dorothy and the other observers collect helps the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) with forecasting floods and assessing changes to weather patterns, including droughts.

   MCD’s manager of water resource monitoring and data analysis, Mike Ekberg, and general manager, MaryLynn Lodor, visited Dorothy and her son Dan Stebbins today alongside the rain gage that she has used to record precipitation all these years. She was honored by Senator Matt Huffman, and Senator Stephan Huffman, with a proclamation for her outstanding public service. She was also gifted MCD’s “A Flood of Memories” coffee table book, and given a big thank you for her service. Dorothy recalled stories, passed down from her grandparents and parents, about surviving the 1913 flood and having to seek higher ground.

 

   In 1998, the Dayton Daily News featured a story on Dorothy when she had served as an observer for more than 20 years. Dorothy framed the article and shared it with Mike and MaryLynn when they delivered MCD’s gifts of thanks today.

 

   At 96 years old, MCD is honored to welcome Dorothy into retirement as she passes the observer responsibilities to her son. This maintains the family legacy, and will ensure that the data continues to benefit the region.

 

   MCD’s vision is to have thriving communities, a healthy watershed and a higher quality of life, sustained by well-managed water resources throughout the watershed.  MCD’s mission is to protect lives, property and economic vitality within the Great Miami River Watershed through an integrated and balanced system that provides unfailing flood protection, preserves water resources, and promotes enjoyment of our waterways.

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Left to right: Dan Stebbins, the rain gage, Dorothy Stebbins, and MCD’s Mike Ekberg