Rail services were hit and homes lost power as Devon and Cornwall were battered as the remnants of Hurricane Gordon swept the counties.
Some boats in Cornwall broke away from moorings
Many local and national rail services have been delayed because of damage to train tracks at Dawlish in Devon.
In Cornwall, some boats on the Fal estuary broke away from moorings in southerly winds. In Looe, the fishing fleet was confined to the harbour.
Homes in Truro were left without power after electricity sub-station problems.
The highest gust in the South West on Thursday night was about 80mph (70 knots) as the storm system was boosted by energy from what was left of Hurricane Gordon.
The Looe fishing fleet was confined to harbour as the high tide threatened to wash over the quayside.
More than 1,000 homes were affected in Truro after problems were caused by circuit malfunctions at the Shortlanesend electricity sub-station.
Western Power Distribution said most homes had their supplies reconnected within a few hours.
However, the weather proved an attraction for some. At Penzance, crowds gathered to watch the waves crash against the promenade.
One tourist Courtney Macmillan, from California, said: "I enjoyed watching it.
Tides threatened to wash over the quayside at Looe
"We were on a bus and being able to see the entire coastline being hit by these waves was just incredibly dramatic."
All London rail services to and from Devon and Cornwall are being affected because of track problems at Dawlish in Devon.
One of the two tracks going through the town has been affected by the weather.
Rachel Lowe from Network Rail said: "There are areas of track running along the seafront which are open to the elements. In the high winds, some ballast under one track has been eroded.
"We're having work to reinstate that before the track can be used again."
The railway lines at Dawlish run along the town's seafront
Local and London services are using the remaining track, but "delays are inevitable", she said.
As well as the ballast under tracks being swept away, a 10m (33ft) long section of sea wall near the track was found to be eroded.
Some London services are starting and terminating at Exeter St David's Station.
Network Rail hopes to services back to normal by Saturday morning.
Elsewhere in Devon, emergency services reported that just a handful of trees had fallen down across the county.
One fell on a camper van on a farm at Yeoford, near Crediton. There were no reports of any injuries.
Western Power said it had to deal with a fallen telegraph pole at Severn Crosses Road in Tiverton.