On the eve of the busy Easter weekend, crews have erected a covered walkway structure at the foot of the east tower of historic Mission San Xavier del Bac. Its purpose: to protect visitors from pieces of the aging tower that could break loose and fall to the ground.
Do tornadoes occur in the desert? It may sound like a trick question, but the answer is yes. According to the Storm Prediction Center, Arizona has recorded more than 230 tornadoes since 1952. That means the state averages about four reported tornadoes each year.
Patronato San Xavier has pumped around $10 million into the restoration of Mission San Xavier del Bac, southwest of Tucson. The church, built from 1783 to 1797, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963.