PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)— In Panama City, a nearly century-old clock has returned. The historic timepiece, damaged by Hurricane Michael has been refurbished and is now at the center of downtown.
In 2018, the clock was torn apart by high winds and rain.
Five years later, the rehabilitated timepiece is being unveiled on the five-year anniversary of the Cat Five Storm.
Oct. 10, 2018, is a day that many Bay County residents will remember forever. The hurricane not only destroyed houses and trees but landmarks as well.
“It has always been a landmark and an icon of downtown. So similar to Big Ben is the icon of London, and it chimes every quarter an hour,” said Bay County Historical Society Vice President Robert Hurst.
The clock was first built in 1926 and is located at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Beach Drive. In 1957, it was moved to Harrison Avenue and Seventh Street and stayed there until it was hit by Hurricane Michael.
“We’re used to hearing it. We miss it when it doesn’t chime,” Hurst said.
Time stood still at 2:44 p.m.
After the Bay County Historical Society salvaged the timepiece, it stands tall at its latest location on Harrison Avenue and Fourth Street.
“We’re very happy that it’s back and it’s in its downtown place,” Hurst said.
People who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Michael are happy to see the clock in the heart of downtown.
“It’s so exciting. It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful. It signifies not an end, but a continuation and perhaps a new beginning. A rebirth, if you will,” said Panama City resident Ginger Littleton.
“This is an incredible feeling. It’s been a really long journey to get here,” said Panama City Ward 1 Commissioner Jenna Haligas.
And that journey now takes you to a brand-new roundabout where the local monument keeps watch.
“We want to make this a historic spot for right downtown. When you come to Panama City, this is where we want you to come,” said Panama City Mayor Michael Rohan.
The Bay County Historical Museum will be selling holiday ornaments to commemorate the clock over the coming weeks they are on sale at the history museum on Harrison Ave.
While the clock is rebuilt it doesn’t keep time yet but the city says it will be up and running in a couple of weeks.