'He Is Our Hero': College Student Works 32 Hour Shift Alone At Hotel During Flood

September 23, 2019

A guest at a hotel in Beaumont, Texas, is praising a young man for going above and beyond to help all of the guests who were trapped inside after Tropical Storm Imelda caused torrential flooding in the area.

Angela Chandler was staying at the Homewood Suites where 21-year-old Satchel Smith works.

For 32 hours, he was the hotel's only employee.

young employee works hotel alone during flood
Satchel / Credit: Angela K Chandler

This is what Chandler wrote on Facebook.

"Meet Satchel. He is the only employee here at Homewood Suites in Beaumont. The access road is underwater and I10 is shut down due to flooding. We can't get in or go out. The hotel a mile from us is under water. 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.


Sometimes we ask ourselves why God allows things to happen but we are not designed to understand his ways. I do think that sometimes He allows things to happen so we can be His light and share the love of Christ with others. I have seen a big teddy bear of a man washing dishes and serving eggs, a little grandmother wiping down tables, and a man drenched from head to toe because he crossed i10 to deliver bottles of water to truck drivers who have been stranded on i10. We saw a helicopter land at the hotel adjacent to us where the parking lot is underwater. Someone had to be flown out. I'm looking at my table and see a leftover bagel from breakfast, my hot cup of tea, my cozy socks, and dry tennis shoes. I am thankful for each of these things and for the peace in knowing that my family is safe and sound. Please pray for us and that we can each make it home safely to each of our families.

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! Goodness gracious! 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."

Satchel, who is typically positioned behind the front desk, worked as the hotel's chef, maintenance man, room service attendant and any other position that needed filling.

After his marathon shift, a co-worker finally made it in to relieve him. Satchel took a brief nap and returned to work.

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