Tens of thousands of homes have been left without power, while flights, trains and ferry services have been suspended, and roads, schools and businesses have shut as potentially record-breaking gusts of more than 120mph have been recorded in the most exposed areas.
Even though the first of the Met Office's two ultra rare "red" weather warnings expired at midday affecting the south west of England and south Wales, a second remains in place until 3pm across the East of England and London due to the combination of high tides, strong winds and storm surge.
But attention is already turning to the impact beyond Friday afternoon, with further disruption to travel and more weather warnings issued for Saturday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: "We should all follow the advice and take precautions to keep safe."
Amid the chaos - with swirling gusts felling trees, tossing debris in the air, and damaging homes - emergency services were forced to issue warnings for people to stay away from the worst affected areas.
Roy Stokes from the Environment Agency said it was "probably the most stupid thing you can do" to travel to the most exposed places, amid reports of people climbing on to seawalls and swimming in the sea.
Winds of 122mph have been provisionally recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which, if verified, would be the highest ever recorded in England.