DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Three years ago, people were observing Memorial Day, not knowing what the night ahead would entail. That night would go on to be one of the most destructive nights in Miami Valley history.

On May 27, 2019, 19 tornadoes tore a devastating path through the area, killing one person and causing millions of dollars of damage. It wouldn’t be until the sun came up the next morning that we saw the extent of the damage.

“The very next morning after the tornado we got up to tour our community. And when we went out and saw the level of devastation, it was unbelievable,” said Mary McDonald, Mayor of Trotwood. “Our citizens really went through a lot, from the apartment community on to the single-family home community. It was a devastating night.”

Today, communities like Beavercreek are still working to get back to normal. In the past three years, Beavercreek has rebuilt or repaired just over 96% of its buildings. Some are still in the midst of repairs. The work there is a testament to how this community came together to help one another.

Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone said, “Well, from the very first hour we had people on the street, not just our own staff, but we had volunteers from all over the city out providing limb removal – helping people do everything that they needed,” said Beavercreek mayor Bob Stone. “So I am extremely proud and I generally introduce myself as the proud Mayor of Beavercreek because it is – Beavercreek is a community where the citizens take care of each other.”

Despite the devastation, the Dayton area has learned a lot of important lessons, and we’re more prepared now for a potential weather disaster.

Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said, “I think one of the things that has happened since the tornado, and since all of 2019, is just our commitment to being prepared: the work that we need to do to make sure that we stay prepared and we know that these extreme weather conditions will continue to come on.”

While many neighborhoods have been cleaned up by now, no one will ever forget that terrifying night of May 27, 2019.