Reporter sees man lowering flag to half-staff—realizing what’s unfolding, she takes a snap

A reporter who was covering the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in South Carolina explains how she was deeply impressed by one man’s generosity toward displaced victims. Since the man was too humble to allow himself to be interviewed on live TV, she shared his inspiring story on social media.

Holly Jackson was looking for stories to cover in the midst of Hurricane Irma when she met a unique individual while she was staying at the Beaufort hotel in South Carolina. She first saw the Indian man, Chet, who owns a small hotel, walk outside into the rain to lower the flag to half-staff that morning on Sept. 11.

“A quick snap of a moment that really spoke to me today,” Jackson captioned the photo below.

“I hate the storms,” Jackson concluded, “…but I love how they always find a way to speak to me in a way I never expect.”

She learned that Chet had only taken over the hotel four months ago. He could never have predicted that less than half a year later it would be filled with people trying to escape the destructive hurricane.

“He’s got people trampling through the place soaking wet. Only a handful of employees stayed behind to work. The phone rings constantly. His hotel is leaking. The power went on and off all morning,” Jackson wrote, as seen on her Facebook page. “He brought in a generator and got it working in under 30 minutes.”

Illustration – Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla / Staff

Many evacuees staying in the hotel told Jackson that when they arrived there, no store was opened except for Chet’s inn, and he even “gave them muffins and bananas late at night.”

While many people had to sleep in their car the previous night in the parking lot, Chet’s hotel, Country Inn & Suites, opened and offered them free breakfast, as well as restroom access. “There were so many children, of course,” Chet told Jackson.

Yet Chet didn’t hesitate to do everything he could to extend hospitality—he didn’t even hesitate to break hotel rules.

“He’s waived his no-pet policy this week,” Jackson wrote. “I thanked him for the hospitality and he apologized for the state of the bathrooms. There’s peeling paint on the ceilings of them and he hasn’t gotten to it yet.”

Jackson was impressed by Chet’s kindness and generosity under such stressful and devastating conditions. She tried to interview him on live television but said he was too humble to do so.

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