Kayaker finds iconic Ellicott City clock that washed away during historic flooding

- A Maryland man made an incredible discovery of a local landmark in the aftermath of the historic flooding in Ellicott City.

On Saturday, Bobby Barker got word from a local firefighter that his hometown was under water. He is a whitewater kayaker who knows the nearby river and rapids well and decided to kayak to the area.

“I just started paddling across to try to check on people and see if there was anybody that needed help,” Barker described.

He started looking in a back parking lot knowing Main Street's currents were too strong even for him.

"A nice cross current there that almost pulled me sideways when I was trying to cross over,” Barker said. “There was no way I would have went down Main Street. I would have died.”

He came back out the following night – this time on the Patapsco River.

"Just unreal,” said Barker. “Just something out of a movie."

He had found the Ellicott City’s iconic clock literally stuck in time. The clock was showing 9:20 – about the same time when water took over the city.

“Found that in a cluster of cars and I just sat it on top of my kayak and paddled across the river,” he said.

The 16-year-old clock, which for years has stood on Main Street, washed away after a floating car ran right into it.

“I'm a local kayaker,” Barker said. “I do it probably at least once a week. This is my local river and just to see all that in there, it's crazy.”

Barker had one last thing to do. He made sure the iconic clock was reunited with its city. The police department thanked him with a Howard County Police Department coin.

Police went down to the river on Tuesday and recovered the base of the clock.

On Wednesday, crews placed the clock back on Main Street.

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