In Beaumont, Texas, a 21-year-old Homewood Suites employee named Satchel Smith singe-handedly ran the hotel for over 32 hours when tropical storm Imelda hit the area.
With 90 guests trapped in the hotel with him as floodwaters rose, Satchel cared for the guests and in his words “just did his job.” Taking care of the 90 guests meant answering phones, cooking, doing dishes, and washing laundry all by himself.
Due to the flooding, Satchel lost his car, but because of his efforts during that long solo shift, city officials surprised the 21-year-old with a 2013 Honda Hybrid during an event to honor him.
“I mean it was a bit unexpected–overwhelming!” he said. “I mean I donât expect anything for what I did.”
One of the guests he helped look after, Angela Chandler, said that Smith handled the stressful situation “with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face.”