A Hotel employee, Satchel Smith, in Beaumont, continuously served guests for 32 hours non-stop amidst torrential flooding caused by tropical storm Imelda; and hotel patrons branded him a 'hero'. The remnants of the storm flooded parts of Texas leading to stranded drivers and families trapped in their homes. The guests of Hotel Homewood Suites in Beaumont were also trapped along with Smith. Smith was the only employee at that time and all the responsibilities of taking care of guests fell upon him.
A hotel guest, Angela Chandler, wrote a Facebook post praising the 21-year-old for his composure. The post has been liked more than 28,000 times and shared by more than 13,000 users. Chandler wrote that Satchel was there all night and since his coworkers couldn’t make it to the work he stayed back. “He has manned the phones, answered each of our questions, ensured that we have had a hot cup of coffee or tea, and helped serve us a hot breakfast. He has handled this situation with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face,” wrote Chandler in the Facebook post.
Smith, talking about his 32 hours of work, told a news channel that it was pretty intense. He worked as the hotel’s chef, maintenance man, room service attendant, and every other service that was required in such an emergency situation. Smith admitted that he had never worked in a kitchen before and that he was not really a good cook. But the guests also lent their hands to help serve breakfast and to prepare dinner.
Smith and the guests didn’t limit themselves to their survival but helped distribute food and water to stranded drivers as well. Smith said that the guests were very helpful and that it was like a big family. “If you know Satchel, tell him he is our hero! He gave me permission to share his picture. What an example of how to handle yourself in a crisis!” wrote Chandler. “I will stay here next time just knowing that despite whatever happens, I will have someone putting our needs above his own needs. Thank you Satchel for taking care of us here at Homewood in Beaumont,” she added.