Georgia Governor-elect tributes first responders

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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) - Georgia Governor-elect Brian Kemp continued his pre-inaugural tour by making a stop in Blakely to show his appreciation for the hard work first responders put in after Hurricane Michael devastated southwest Georgia.

Life is starting to return to normal for many, and Governor-elect Kemp wanted to thank the people who helped get it that way.

"Our day to day operations have returned to normal, but it's a new normal,” said Georgia State Patrol Commander Jeromy Roberts. “We have a lot of debris trucks on the road. We're having to keep traffic of them while they're cleaning up. It's normal, but it's a new normal."

Commander Jeromy Roberts and his fellow Georgia State Patrolmen have been working diligently to do their part in the hurricane recovery effort.

Roberts was one of over a hundred first responders who were present while Governor-elect Brian Kemp thanked them for all that they've done.

"I mean it was unbelievable what I saw down here,” said Kemp. “I said in my remarks, I've never been prouder to see how hard the people worked, the sacrifices they made at all levels of government and just personally just to help their friends and neighbors in a time of need and devastation."

Kemp has been travelling around the state to host pre-inaugural celebrations.

His focus has been on education reform and the dangers of gang violence throughout the state, but his speech in Blakely was all about the storm.

"It's beyond devastating,” said Kemp. “I've never seen anything like it. Watching it on a news camera does not give you an appreciation for what it's like on the ground."

Commander Roberts welcomed the governor-elect's appreciation speech, but the time Kemp's spent with the people of southwest Georgia is what meant the most.

"This governor is going to look at all of Georgia, especially southwest Gerogia,” said I know after the storm, he flew down, as secretary of state, to make sure the polling places were still working. As part of that detail, driving him around, he would stop and look around and talk to the people that were there. It was very heartfelt."

The governor-elect will continue visiting different parts of the state while leading up to his inauguration next week.

Kemp is scheduled to be inaugurated as Georgia’s 83rd governor on Monday.

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