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Young Worker Who Ran Hotel Alone For Over 30 Hours During Flood Surprised With A New Car

When Tropical Storm Imelda hit the city of Beaumont, Texas, one man stepped up to the plate to care for hundreds of people. A 21-year-old Homewood Suites employee named Satchel Smith singlehandedly kept the hotel running for 90 guests when floods prevented anyone else from making it to work. The floods also destroyed Smith’s car, but he received a big gift as a thank you for all his hard work.

The young hotel employee was surprised with a new car after running the hotel alone for over 32 hours.

hotel employee

Photo via KFDM News

Normally Smith mans the front desk of the hotel. But when he and the guests were stranded, he also became a chef, maintenance worker, and cleaning crew.

Smith put everything into taking care of the hotel guests during Tropical Storm Imelda, doing everything including answering phones, cooking, doing dishes, and washing laundry. He said he was “just doing his job,” but hotel guests noticed how he went above and beyond. One guest named Angela K. Chandler posted on Facebook about Smith and wrote, “Satchel has been here all night. His coworkers couldn’t make it to work so he stayed. 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.”

Meet Satchel. He is the only employee here at Homewood Suites in Beaumont. The access road is underwater and I10 is shut…

Posted by Angela K Chandler on Thursday, September 19, 2019

Beaumont city officials also noticed Smith’s hard work and rewarded him for it.

Since his car was ruined during the floods, city officials issued a proclamation to him and surprised him with a Hybrid Honda. Smith told KFDM News, “I mean it was a bit unexpected—overwhelming! I mean I don’t expect anything for what I did.”

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