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SCA grad to tell tale of tragic strike


PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY CHIAVAROLI SCA graduate and WENY meteorologist Tony Chiavaroli, right, stands next to SAHS junior Logan Williams, a local boy who was struck by lighting and paralyzed seven years ago on his way home from school.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY CHIAVAROLI SCA graduate and WENY meteorologist Tony Chiavaroli, right, stands next to SAHS junior Logan Williams, a local boy who was struck by lighting and paralyzed seven years ago on his way home from school.

HORSEHEADS, New York — A Southern Columbia Area High School graduate and meteorologist for a local television affiliate based in the southern tier of New York state has a compelling story to tell viewers about the power of severe weather and its ability to change lives in an instant.

Tony Chiavaroli, an Elysburg native who graduated in 2013 from Southern and in 2017 from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology, is currently employed as a meteorologist for WENY, an affiliate of both the ABC and CBS television networks which covers the northern tier of Pennsylvania and southern tier of New York state. Recently, he began work on a short weather-related documentary that hits close to home.

The tragic story is that of Shamokin Area student Logan Williams who, after a typical day at school and bus ride back seven years ago, was paralyzed by a sudden bolt of lightning right outside his home near Paxinos. Williams, now a junior at Shamokin Area High School, lives each day as a quadriplegic who can no longer move his arms or legs following the accident. His traumatic injury damaged his nervous system and he now communicates solely through facial expressions and blinking his

PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY CHIAVAROLI. In this June 11, 2015 photo, a lightning bolt strikes near Hillside Ave in Elysburg during a thunderstorm.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY CHIAVAROLI. In this June 11, 2015 photo, a lightning bolt strikes near Hillside Ave in Elysburg during a thunderstorm.

eyes.

“A short time ago our producer decided we would run a series of short, on-air segments that would explain the impact of severe weather on our everyday lives. My story about Logan, titled “Struck Down: Logan’s Fight,” is the only one that deals with the effects of severe weather injuring a person and how it’s changed both he and his family,” said Chiavaroli.

Chiavaroli also said that the Williams family, who he has visited, wants the community to remember their son’s powerful story. In meeting someone like Logan, who has been personally affected by the negative side of meteorology, Chivaroli said it makes him think a lot more in-depth about the importance of his weather forecasts and the nature of his profession.

The Williams story is scheduled to air on Tuesday’s 6 p.m. WENY newscast and will last approximately four minutes. A live stream will also be available for viewing online at WENY.com.

“One thing I’d like the public to learn through this tragic tale is that they need to have a respect for severe weather and what something like even a simple thunderstorm can do, as in Logan’s case. Always heed the warnings given. Prepare yourself and seek shelter ahead of time because you never know,” said Chiavaroli.