COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Three years ago, the end of a warm and muggy Memorial Day weekend turned into a frightening and ultimately tragic night on Monday, May 27, 2019, in parts of western and central Ohio.

The devastating tornadoes commenced shortly after 10 p.m. in Mercer County, just across the Indiana border west of Celina. The final confirmed tornado was reported in Roseville, Perry County, at 2:30 a.m. on May 28.

National Weather Service teams in the region counted 21 tornadoes on May 27-28, 2019, based on damage surveys, photographs, and videos taken by law enforcement and area residents who observed large funnels illuminated by vivid lightning in the Dayton area.

At least 166 people were injured in Ohio, and more than 500 homes were damaged or destroyed. The total damage was estimated at around $1 billion.

A strong EF3 tornado (150 mph) turned deadly in Celina with 150 mph winds, claiming the life of an 82-year-old man when an unoccupied car was tossed into his home.

A violent EF4 tornado that touched down west of Brookville, in Montgomery County, traveled 20 miles through Trotwood, Dayton, and Riverside.

Two additional EF3 tornadoes (136 to 165 mph) were confirmed in Darke-Miami counties beginning near West Milton, and in eastern Montgomery-western Greene counties, where a tornado traveled 14 miles through Beavercreek shortly after 11 p.m., damaging or destroying more than 100 homes.

The only more active day in Ohio records since 1950 was July 12, 1992, when 28 tornadoes were confirmed, though none approached the intensity of the Memorial Day night storms.

As the spinning supercell thunderstorms raced east-southeast, three tornadoes touched down in Pickaway and Hocking counties. The strongest reached EF2 intensity near Laurelville.

The nighttime aspect of this historic tornado outbreak — between 10 p.m. on May 27 and 2 a.m. on May 28 — made the situation all the more frightening, since tornado spotting at night is nearly impossible unless revealed by lightning flashes.

Prompt warnings from the National Weather Service and local media, based on Doppler radar technology, which detects possible tornado signatures (rotation) and debris, undoubtedly saved lives and prevented more injuries.