SLC landmark shorted out ‘Back to the Future’ style

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jun 16, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – The clock on top of the tower at Salt Lake City's county and city building isn’t working, and the cause of the issue comes straight out of a Hollywood movie—one with a Delorean to be exact.

Art Raymond, deputy director of communications for the Salt Lake City Mayor, said the clock tower was struck by lightning.

"Literally out of the blue perhaps the loudest thunder-clap I'd ever heard and a huge flash of bright light,” he said. "Moments after, I heard this enormous crash, which caused me to jump out of my desk chair. I saw a Twitter post from one of our local reporters, who happened to be standing outside of our building at the time, said she saw lightning strike the clock tower.”

The lightning strike happened about a month ago, and since then the clock has been stopped at 4:58. Raymond said the lightning strike did some serious damage, and he said it’s a problem they aren’t used to dealing with.

"One of the unfortunate issues that came out following this lightning strike is that bolt of electricity cooked a number of the circuit boards associated with the system,” he said. "We've never had an issue of this magnitude or a direct lightning strike that impacted the system until now.”

But despite the headache and hassle of fixing the clock, city officials are maintaining a sense of humor about the incident.

"Lots of "Back to the Future jokes," and, you know, people jokingly looking for the flux capacitor and asking what year this is, and yeah, people have enjoyed it,” Raymond said. “The most fortunate thing is that nobody was injured.”

The clock will eventually be fixed. In the meantime, any resident who witnesses a Delorean traveling in the area at 88 mph is encouraged to contact FOX 13 News.