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Found: A Giant Clock Washed Away in a Once-in-a-Millennium Flood

Ellicott City, Maryland recently saw a lot of rain.

The clock in its pre-underwater days. (Photo: Mr.TinDC/CC BY-ND 2.0)

After a once-in-a-lifetime storm passed through, a kayaker on the Patapsco River, which flows through central Maryland into the Chesapeake Bay, was looking to rescue people, if they needed it. But while he didn’t find anyone in danger, he was able to perform a rescue mission. He found and rescued a giant clock.

The storm that passed through Ellicott City, an affluent area to the west of Baltimore, was historic. Six-and-half inches of rain fell in just two hours; the Patapsco River rose 14 feet. The water swept cars down hills and left sinkholes in its wake. Two people died. According to the Baltimore Sun, weather records from the area show that a storm this intense should only happen one in 1,000 years.

Bobby Barker went out in his kayak to try to help, the Sun reports. He was familiar with the river, and as he “came around the corner behind the flour mill,” he went to inspect some cars that had been pulled into river. Behind a sandbank, he found the clock.

This particular clock was massive. It had been erected in 2000, by the B&O Railroad Museum, and had stood 15 feet tall. He was able to pull the clock’s face out of the water and intends to go back for the rest of it.

“It’s a symbol for the city,” he told the Sun.

Update: The clock face is back in its proper position, though it still needs some work to get it back to its former condition.

Every day, we highlight one newly found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.