Thousands of homes left were left without power, hundreds of schools closed and major travel disruption caused as Storm Ciarán wreaked havoc in the UK.
Residents in Jersey, some of whom had to seek refuge in a hotel, described how hailstones “bigger than a golf ball” had broken windows.
The storm caused travel chaos and the AA, which had a large number of callouts in southern England, said it had “rescued 84 customers stuck in flood so far today, with thousands more impacted by the weather”.
Many commuters avoided the worst by staying at home with Southern Rail urged passengers not to travel if possible and avoid non-essential journeys due to a strong risk of falling trees and debris blowing on to the tracks.
However London managed escape the worst of the storm, with one meteorologist saying the capital had "dodged a bullet" after it tracked further south than had been forecast.
By Thursday afternoon National Grid said 9,000 properties were without power in the South West.
Floods minister Rebecca Pow said potential flooding risks remained across the country with river levels still high, large waves at the coast and saturated ground.
The Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to support the Cabinet Office in co-ordinating the Government’s response, she confirmed.
The Government of Jersey said schools will close for a second day on Friday as they aim to get pupils back in classrooms on Monday.
In a statement it said: “Schools set to remain closed tomorrow to help assess damage and reopen roads. Some non-urgent health appointments have been cancelled.”
Jersey Airport remained closed to commercial flights, with Ports of Jersey saying engineers had discovered extensive infrastructure and equipment damage and system failures caused by the storm.
Attempts were being made to reopen the airport at 2pm on Friday. Meanwhile, it is still operating for emergencies and medical transfers.
In Dorset, firefighters evacuated 70 people from 198 caravans at Freshwater Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock, near Bradport, with some being taken to dry land by boat.
Amid continued heavy rain on Thursday afternoon the Environment Agency said flooding was expected in 82 areas, most on the south coast.
A further 197 alerts were in place for possible flooding across England.
A Met Office yellow weather warning for winds that were “strong and potentially disruptive winds” was in place until 5pm covering the South West, Wales, London, the South East and the East of England.
A yellow weather warning for rain is also in place covering much of southern and western England and Wales until just before midnight.h.
One Jersey homeowner, Suzie Phillips, told the PA news agency: “The hailstones were quite a bit heavier and bigger than a golf ball and we’ve had three windows damaged by them – in my daughter’s bedroom, a landing and a bathroom.
“It was quite worrying, especially for the kids – they were quite anxious about it.”
Roofs blowing off buildings, power lines and trees falling on to roads, and bridges and railway line closures are all possible due to the storm, the Met Office added.
It also said Jersey Airport had seen wind gusts of up to 93mph on Thursday morning, with Langdon Bay in Kent recording 71mph, and the village of Cardinham in Cornwall seeing 68mph.
The French coast had winds of up to 110mph in western Brittany overnight.
All flights from Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney airports on Thursday were cancelled.
A yellow warning for rain is also in place until 6am on Friday for north-east England and Scotland, stretching up to Inverness.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution urged people watching the conditions to stay away from the coast.
Two buses were damaged by debris in strong winds in Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, causing disruption to services in the area.
A Stagecoach spokesman said no passengers were injured.