Katrina evacuees happy to be living in Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Seamstress and designer Ilona Toth divides her attention between alterations and the television news on Hurricane Isaac's progression.

Toth still keeps a picture of Katrina's satellite image. Remarkably, the path is similar to Isaac. That's what has Toth concerned.

"I'm concerned about my other two sons living in New Orleans and my fourth son living above Lake Pontchatoula," Toth said.

Toth loves the excitement and music of New Orleans, but has no desire to join her family. The only thing left of her upscale New Orleans dress shop is its name, The Red Thread. The idea of starting over isn't appealing after all she's done to get The Red Thread in Nacogdoches going.

"If I'm going back now it's look like, start everything from zero," Toth said.

Up the street at Walmart, Kim Cato is busy at work. She escaped New Orleans on her birthday, wading through snake-infested waters.

"It's like 11 feet," Cato said. "I mean, you know, like touching right here."

The experience still haunts her. She and her mother felt safe in Nacogdoches and stayed. Today, Cato relies on co workers to wish her a happy birthday. Her mother passed away two years ago.

"Yeah, I visit," Cato said. "It's not home no more. It's where I'm from and I"ll never forget where I come from, but it's not the same."

Hurricane Isaac is a solid reminder of why these two women stay in East Texas, rebuilding their lives.

Both women are contributing back to the community they now call home.

Toth raised a son since Katrina.

He's now an SFA student.

She continues to keep Nacogdoches in pretty dresses and well fitted clothes.

Cato keeps a steady job at Walmart and now donates to Love in the Name of Christ, the agency which helped her those first weeks following Katrina.

Both women continue to watch Isaac's progression out of concern for the ones who still live in its path.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.