As Hurricane Sandy grows stronger outside, Chris and Allison Mitchell are safe and sound among designer suits and ties inside their clothing store on Main Street in Huntington.
The pair brought their kids, Haley, 8, and Conor, 6, and their Labrador Retriever, Murphy, to the upscale men's and women's clothing store Marsh's around 9 a.m. Monday, where they will be riding out the storm.
“The safety of our sellers and associates is most important to us, so of course we told them to stay home,“ Chris said, “but this is a family business so we have a responsibility here.“
Chris also said their Lloyd Harbor home is in a very wooded area, and the family is less at risk from fallen trees on Main Street.
The store still had power as of 5 p.m. Monday, but if the power does go out Chris will need to be on site to turn on the generator and prevent the basement from flooding.
“I didn't want to have to leave my family at 12 o'clock at night and come here. It's better that we're all together,“ he said. “We're making the best of it. So far we have actually been having a lot of fun.“
Haley and Conor have been having the most fun, riding around the 15,000-square-foot store on their scooters. For dinner they were able to order pizza from Little Vincent's down the street. Chris said most other Main Street businesses were closed.
The family also stocked the store with emergency supplies and mattresses to sleep on. They plan to stay until midday Tuesday, but will play it by ear.
“The power seems like it's slowly about to go out, so things could get a little more difficult if that happens,“ Chris said, “but so far we're doing OK; the kids are running around and we're watching TV.“
The kids are off from school Monday and Tuesday and Marsh's won't open again until conditions are safe.