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Old Billings woman left devastated after flooding



Billings, Montana – Despite putting a lot of effort into the numerous enterprises she runs on her two acres of land on King Avenue West in Billings, Tina Oxley’s way of life is in shambles as a result of the month’s first record-breaking downpour.

The 84-year-old is the owner of Tina’s Treasure Island, a collection of antiquities from all around the world. On her property, she also has storage facilities and a rental property.

“Right now I am numb and in shock,” Oxley said on Sunday. “I lost everything. Everything.”

Oxley estimates that the flood waters cost her roughly $400,000. She was going to sell her $300,000 rental property, but she doesn’t think she can now that it has been damaged.

“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.

Jack Cooksey, Oxley’s son, who resides in Colorado, came to Billings as soon as the water subsided to assist his mother with cleaning. He claimed that he has been working nonstop for the previous 12 days and that everyone’s emotions have been running 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 mud-covered antiques can be cleaned, but Oxley is concerned that she won’t be able to finish cleaning up the damage once her son gets 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 hopes that instead of receiving donations, “people (will) buy everything I have.” That’s all, and I’ll use whatever I get to my advantage.

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