Jonathan Bradshaw, who sent pictures of storm damage in the Essex town, told BBC News: "We were woken by the sound of debris hitting the window. We got to the window just in time to see the fence collapse."
There were also reports of a tornado in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where a woman was taken to hospital as a precaution after a tree fell on her car.
In Wales, Pembrokeshire was the worst affected with people trapped in their cars by major road flooding.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service dealt with two reported lightning strikes in Horsham and Crawley.
Firefighters took down a "dangerous" kebab shop sign which had become dislodged by strong winds in Gravesend, Kent.
Crews in East Sussex went to Hove railway station after roof sheeting became detached.
There were also calls reporting roof tiles and "for sale" boards being ripped up in Brighton and Bexhill.
The weather caused a fireworks display for the Lord Mayor's parade in London to be called off.
Further updates are available on the BBC Weather website.
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