June Lowry Honored For His Years Of Service As A National Weather Service Observer
Millgap, VA – Last Friday afternoon Trina Heiser, from the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office in Sterling, Virginia, made a trip to Highland County for a special ceremony honoring Mr. June Lowry of Back Creek. Ms. Heiser explains the reason for her visit.
“Mr. Lowry has been a certified weather observer for the last 38 years” says Heiser.
Heiser says Lowry has been serving in the Mill Gap area all that time. Mr. Lowry will now step down and Richard Simmons will take over observation duties. Not many of the certified weather observers continue serving that long. Mr. Lowry moved into his current house on Upper Back Creek in 1948, just after he and his wife got married. They have been married now for 62 years. Mr. Lowry describes how it was that he became a weather observer.
“I was asked by the previous weather observer, Mrs. Nina Shepherd” says Lowry. “She had kept the records for a number of years and were leaving the neighborhood; and they wanted someone to take over, and I did.”
In his many years on Back Creek, Mr. Lowry has been through just about every kind of weather.
“I have seen some interesting weather. I have driven through all kinds of it; carried the mail for 25 years and worked in the Post Office” says Lowry.
Mr. Lowry goes on to talk about his experience during the flood of 1985.
“I’m lucky to be here” he says. “My son in law came to Monterey to pick up my daughter and I up, brought my granddaughter along; we started down the upper end of [Route] 600, the water was coming back over the hood of his truck and it stalled. Fortunately he got it started and that was one of my worst experiences.”
Mr. Lowry says he remembers the late 50’s and early 60’s as years with particularly heavy snow falls. He says despite last years’ heavy snowfall, it didn’t seem to drift as badly as in previous years.
“There was one time I didn’t get out [for] three days” he says. “They had to bring a bulldozer in to open the road [closed] due to drifting.”
Mr. Lowry is looking forward to several more peaceful years on Back Creek.