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Texas hotel worker works 32 hours straight during Hurricane Imelda to ensure his guests’ safety

‘Hero’ hotel employee is praised for working 32 hours straight during Tropical Storm Imelda to ensure the safety of his guests in Texas

  • Homewood Suites employee Satchel Smith worked 32 non-stop hours when Tropical Storm Imelda ravaged Beaumont, Texas four days ago
  • Smith is a full-time student at Lamar University who normally works one day a week at the hotel to earn extra money 
  • The dedicated hotel clerk started his shift Wednesday afternoon and didn’t leave his post until late Friday night
  • At times, he was the only employee on duty during the crisis
  • He was forced to deal with computer systems crippled by the storm and building fire alarms in addition to preparing food for everyone on site
  • One of the hotel’s guests, Angela K. Chandler, posted a Facebook status update detailing Smith’s dedication and fortitude that went viral over the weekend
  • Imelda’s strong winds and heavy rains have led to at least five deaths while flooding streets and homes throughout the region 

Homewood Suites employee Satchel Smith worked 32 non-stop hours when Tropical Storm Imelda ravaged Beaumont, Texas

A Texas hotel staffer who spent an entire day – plus eight additional hours – on the clock during one of the worst natural disasters in the southern state’s history is being praised for his hard work and generosity this weekend.

Full-time Lamar University student Satchel Smith usually works just one day a week Homewood Suites in Beaumont, Texas, but he was forced to work 32 hours continuously when Tropical Storm Imelda ravaged the southeast coastal city four days ago.

The storm’s strong winds and heavy rains have led to at least five deaths while flooding streets and homes throughout the region.

It also forced emergency management officials to shut down local portions of Interstate 10 as well as the access road to hotel where Smith works, trapping him and his hotel guests in the building with him.

Hotel workers who weren’t having their own problems with Imelda couldn’t get to work to relieve Smith.

A satellite photo of Tropical Storm Imelda. The storm's strong winds and heavy rains have led to at least five deaths while flooding streets and homes throughout the region

A satellite photo of Tropical Storm Imelda. The storm’s strong winds and heavy rains have led to at least five deaths while flooding streets and homes throughout the region

Imelda forced emergency management officials to shut down local portions of Interstate 10 as well as the access road to Homewood Suites (pictured) where Smith worked in Beaumont, trapping him and his hotel guests in the building with him

Imelda forced emergency management officials to shut down local portions of Interstate 10 as well as the access road to Homewood Suites (pictured) where Smith worked in Beaumont, trapping him and his hotel guests in the building with him

Satchel Smith

Satchel Smith

Smith (pictured) is a full-time college student at Lamar University who usually only works at the hotel one day a week

The dedicated hotel clerk started his shift Wednesday afternoon and didn’t leave his post until late Friday night.

At times, he was the only employee on duty during the crisis, forcing him to deal with computer systems crippled by the storm and building fire alarms that were set off several times in addition to preparing food for everyone on site. 

Hotel guest Angela K. Chandler wrote a Facebook status update detailing Smith's dedication and fortitude that went viral over the weekend

Hotel guest Angela K. Chandler wrote a Facebook status update detailing Smith’s dedication and fortitude that went viral over the weekend

‘I got to work about 3 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 18) and it had been raining the whole day, but it wasn’t flooding yet,’ he told WFAA. ‘Then the morning came around, and I was the only one there and everyone was expecting breakfast. … ‘I don’t consider myself a hero, that’s just what I would do, I think anybody would do the same thing.’

One of Smith’s guests volunteered to help him make breakfast in the hotel’s kitchen.

Others helped him prepare chicken pasta for dinner.

Hotel guest Angela K Chandler was so impressed by Smith’s resolve, she snapped a photo of him smiling behind his desk and posted it on Facebook along with a status update praising his dedication.

‘If you know Satchel, tell him he is our hero!’ she wrote. ‘He has handled this situation with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face. … 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.’

‘He is the only employee here,’ she wrote. ‘Satchel has been here all night… 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.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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