September 7, 2005
Katrina Relief is growing, and so are the stories surrounding the storm. People have donated money, supplies, and some are even opening their houses. One family that just arrived to Fluvanna, which will be their new home.
The family arrived Tuesday from Ocean Springs, Mississippi which is just outside of Biloxi. They evacuated from their home just before the storm hit and haven't been back since.
Tammy Oldmixon and her two children just arrived at their new home in Lake Monticello where her sister lives. Her oldest son Eli just started third grade and was instantly a big hit with his new classmates.
"He said everyone today was trying to be his friend so he came home happy," said Oldmixon.
But the family isn't quite complete. Tammy's husband Nathan is a nurse at Biloxi Regional Hospital and has been on duty since the storm hit.
"There are not really words to describe what it's like to not know what's going to come next and if we would see daddy again," said Oldmixon.
Not knowing was unbearable for Tammy's sister. She sent out an emergency email to everyone she knew and through a long chain of strangers including media producers and a red cross volunteer, she received word.
"He's fine, he's alive, he's exhausted after the longest night of his life and he's looking forward to getting a little sleep and tell the family he's ok," said Tammy's sister Patty Meager.
Tammy and her sister still find it difficult to watch the news reports.
"To see the images of my childhood washed away with so much wind and water was horrible," Meager said.
There is no telling when the whole family will be reunited--but as for now they have a safe place to stay as long as they need it.
"In a sense I feel very spared and very fortunate and very lucky and a little guilty just because everyone lost so very much and I was spared," said Oldmixon.
Tammy found out that their home is in pretty good shape. There is roof and property damage and the water isn't working--but they are lucky enought to have a house standing with power.
Both of her children are now enrolled in schools in Fluvanna County.