BILLINGS — Tina Oxley has worked hard for the multiple businesses she has on her two acres of land on King Avenue West in Billings, but the record-breaking rainfall at the beginning of the month left her livelihood a mess.
The 84 year old owns Tina's Treasure Island, which is filled with antiques from around the world. She also has a rental property and storage units on her land.
“Right now I am numb and in shock,” Oxley said on Sunday. “I lost everything. Everything.”
Oxley believes she lost around $400,000 from the flood waters. She was just about to sell her rental property for $300,000 but doesn't believe she can now because of the damage.
“That was my income and my social security. Now that’s gone. I haven’t got paid, and my social security isn’t that much,” she said.
Oxley's son, Jack Cooksey, lives in Colorado but came to Billings as soon as the water receded to help his mother clean. For the last 12 days, he said he has been working nonstop and everyone's emotions have been high.
“Total defeat, to maybe there’s some hope, to just sitting down and crying, you know a lot of that. So, we’re just doing what we can. Some things can’t be saved,” Cooksey said.
The antiques covered in mud can be washed, but Oxley worries she isn't healthy enough to continue cleaning the mess after her son returns home.
“I don’t know what to do with all this now. I don’t have the strength, I don’t have the youth, I don’t have the health. I can’t deal with any of that anymore,” she said.
She doesn't want people to donate money to her, but she hopes "people (will) buy everything I have. That’s it and whatever I get, it will help me.”