Gulfport family struggling with house damage weeks after storm

Gulfport family struggling with house damage weeks after storm

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Living space for the Gibau family is now down to one room after a storm toppled a water oak, crushing their garage and putting a hole in their roof the size of a car.

"It was too quick. It was literally too quick," said Steven Gibau. "As soon as I turned around to try to avoid it, it was too late. It was on me, and I was on the ground."

Gibau had just exited his car in the garage and, thankfully, his son went around the back of the car instead the front as he usually does.

"My immediate reaction was to hit the ground," said his son, Steven Gibau II. "And when I hit the ground, it was a matter of a second, that tree fell. I just thank God. He helped me out because the devil tried to get me."

Wife and mother, Sabrina Gibau, was inside.

"My first reaction when I heard the crack, I only had time to say one word, and I just called Jesus," Sabrina said. "So, when I came to the door and realized that they were safe, they were alive, I was actually doing a little praise dance."

Survival is day by day. They have one bathroom and one bedroom left of the house Sabrina Gibau's grandmother built about 60 years ago. The living room, dining room and kitchen were all destroyed when the tree crashed during the May 20 storm.

The family does not have insurance, or FEMA funds to help, but say they are not daunted by the task of rebuilding their lives.

"But other people amazingly have stepped up to the plate," said the elder Gibau. "This became not only a story of tragedy for a family but, if I may emphasize, it's become a story for the heroes that came to the family."

Gibau includes neighbors, co-workers, church members, and Mississippi Power among those who have helped.

"We just take it one day at a time, sir," Gibau said. "That's all we can do. Like I said, both me and my son are blessed to be here."

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