As Hurricane Irma edged closer, a Florida dealership turned into a makeshift disaster shelter, offering refuge for employees unable to escape Irma's wrath.
The idea came to Rick LeMaire, general manager of Largo Honda in Florida City, Fla., south of Miami, after an employee, Chris Buchanan, asked him if she could stay at the dealership during the storm with her cats.
"I live in a trailer in the Keys, and I literally live check to check," Buchanan, a title clerk at Largo Honda, said. "I can't afford to run from a storm, but I live in a trailer so I had to leave."
What began as a favor to one employee ended up being extended to almost 40 more people, including children, six dogs, six cats and a pet rat.
"It just kept growing and growing," said Buchanan. "It started with one and ended with 40."