Storm Antoni saw 78mph winds batter the UK and downed trees – blocking 100 miles of railway between Exeter and Penzance.
Severe road and rail disruption was reported across the South West, the Met Office said, and around half a month of rain fell in parts of the UK.
Meanwhile, a yellow warning for ‘unusual windy weather’ was in place for southern parts of the UK and a yellow thunderstorm warning was issued for south-east England and East Anglia.
A number of people had to be evacuated from their homes in Loftus and Carlin How, North Yorkshire, due to flooding after heavy rain.
Paul Jones-King, 47, who has lived in the area for 18 years, became furious.
He said it was the second time in three years that the city had suffered flooding from heavy rain, saying the authorities’ response had been “poor”.
“I just want to cry to be honest with you,” Mr. Jones-King said.
He added: ‘I’m a nurse, I finished a night shift this morning, I was sitting having a cup of coffee before I went to bed, and literally within 10 minutes your house is flooded.
“Everyone is arguing with each other, no one has done anything and we have been inundated again.”
A Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council spokesman said: ‘The council responded immediately when called for help and a team was dispatched to the scene early in the morning.
“Other crews were mobilized throughout the morning as the extent of the flooding became apparent.”
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said gusts of 78mph were measured at Berry Head in Devon and 43mm of rain fell in Scarborough, North Yorkshire – almost half the average rainfall in ‘august.
He added that Great Western Railway had warned passengers not to travel between Exeter and Penzance due to the number of fallen trees on the tracks and that a number of roads had also been blocked in Devon and Cornwall.
“The rain is continuing at the moment, there is still quite a bit of thunder and rain, especially in the north of England and East Anglia,” Mr Partridge added.
“There was localized flooding.
“The storm will dissipate tonight, it will all be pretty much gone by midnight.”
Outside the UK, eight people were evacuated from their homes in Clontarf, Dublin, the Dublin Fire Department said.
The weather has forced the organizers of outdoor events scheduled for this weekend to cancel their plans.
A two-day music festival that 60,000 people were due to attend was canceled just before the gates opened due to security fears.
More than 80 artists – including Craig David, Patrick Topping, Sean Paul and Example – were due to perform at Newcastle’s LooseFest.
LooseFest manager Brian Austin said: ‘Shortly before the gates opened to the public, we were advised by the security team with the agreement of local authorities that the festival site was not safe to open.
“It was an extremely difficult decision, but the safety of everyone, from festival-goers to artists, to the team and everyone on site, was paramount.
“It’s a heartbreaking decision, but the right one, unfortunately the only thing we can’t control is the weather.”
And Eliot Walker, organizer of Dorset’s annual Stompin’ On The Quomps Jazz Festival, said he was ‘disappointed’ to have had to postpone this year’s event, which 10,000 people were expected to attend, due to Storm Antoni .
Christchurch Quay’s free festival has been forced to cancel its activities for the first time in its 30-year history.
In the good news, Brighton Pride was able to move forward with a rainbow of colors bringing brightness amongst the greys.
The weather is expected to improve on Sunday with a drier and brighter day, and next week highs in the mid-20s could be seen by Thursday, the forecaster added.
Better weather could arrive in mid to late August, Mr Partridge said.
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