Tucson Oddity: Old tower once used for storm alerts

2010-02-15T00:00:00Z 2014-10-24T09:52:58Z Tucson Oddity: Old tower once used for storm alerts Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 15, 2010 12:00 am  • 

When the monsoon arrives each summer, Tucson residents can monitor the weather by flipping on the television or logging onto the Internet.

Many years ago, however, farmers living in the area near East Prince and North Country Club roads had to rely on human eyes stationed in watchtowers to spot any potential weather hazards.

Five watchtowers were built along a bend in the nearby Rillito River to help area residents keep watch for powerful monsoon storms.

The last remaining tower is on Arizona Exterminating Co. property at 3149 E. Prince Road, next to the river.

"They would post watches to alert farmers to the floods," said Dennis Mizer, operations manager for Arizona Exterminating Co.

The grayish tower with a spiral staircase wrapping around the outside was built in the 1950s, Mizer said.

The structure had been unoccupied for about two decades when the exterminating company bought the property 10 years ago, he said.

"There was a homeless guy living in it. The guy had cardboard on the windows," he said. "We moved the guy out and got him an apartment."

The company replaced the cardboard with new windowpanes and decorative iron doors.

Now, the three-story tower includes space for pesticides and chemicals, employee records and a workshop, he said.

And it's air-conditioned.

"We're in and out of it five, six times a day," he said.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at 573-4115 or jyounger@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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