UWG Alum Casey Nichols Covers Devastation in Oklahoma

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Casey Nichols, a University of West Georgia alumnus named in UWG’s “30 Under 30” list, recently returned from Moore, Okla., covering the damage left by the EF 5 tornado that occurred on May 20, 2013.

Nichols has been working behind the camera for five years at WSB-TV as a photojournalist for Channel 2 News at the Cobb County Bureau, covering the Northwest Metro region of Atlanta. Nichols has covered several storms in the past around Atlanta, including the tornado in Adairsville, Ga., on January 30, 2013, but he says that the one in Oklahoma was like nothing he has ever seen before.

“We got there the day after the tornado hit the town and we hit the ground running, literally, trying to get stuff on the air for our newscast the same day we arrived,” says Nichols. “What was most shocking is what the tornado does to things that it picks up, such as cars. There were car parts unexplainably ripped out of car engines. It was really shocking to see.”

Nichols also witnessed and was a part of the tornado relief and recovery. “We interviewed several victims, all of which had a very positive attitude towards the cleanup,” he said. “There were a lot of support groups, church organizations and volunteers. They were devastated, however a small town like that has a strong will and a sense of pride. What’s really impressive is the story of their willpower to rebuild. It is inspiring.”

Nichols graduated and received his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of West Georgia in 2006 and was recently named to the Alumni Association’s first “30 Under 30” list. He was involved in numerous student organizations while at UWG including the Student Government Association, Student Activities Council, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Interfraternity Council, University Ambassadors. He was also the co-director of Greek Week as well as the assistant coordinator of orientation.

Nichols worked as an intern with WSB-TV in Atlanta his senior year. After graduation, he was offered a position as a photojournalist at WCIV-TV in Charleston, S.C., where he worked for two years before moving back to Atlanta to once again work for WSB-TV.

“I always knew coming into West Georgia that there were limitless opportunities for me,” Nichols said. “In the years after graduation, my gut feeling has continued to be true about the institution and where it can take you.”

He continues to have strong ties with UWG. “I’m there anytime the mass communications department needs help from me, and I haven’t missed a homecoming yet since I’ve graduated,” he said.

One of Nichols most recent accomplishments was to cover the tornado that went through Adairsville, Ga.While covering the Adairsville tornado, Nichols was interviewed for Georgia Storm Stories’ – a prime time special of the Adairsville tornado that is set to air Wednesday, June 19, at 8P p.m. on WSB-TV Channel 2. The special will highlight stories from the January EF 3 tornado.

Photo1: Nichols filming WSB-TV Meterologist David Chandley.
Photo 2: Nichols
Credit to Brian Lazaro, Senior Producer at WSB-TV.