In Norfolk, the worst affected county, more than 600 people had to leave their homes and caravan and leisure parks were under water.
In Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, 400 people took refuge in a school, and more people were moved from the coastal villages of Walcott, Morston and Snettisham as surge tides threatened homes.
Inland tidal surges caused several rivers to breach their banks. The National Rivers Authority said a 2-metre surge tide was recorded, the highest since 1978. The river Bure broke its banks at Acle, flooding the A47 between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. In Suffolk many coastal roads were closed by floods.
In Scotland, more than 400 North Sea oil workers were air lifted to Aberdeen from a drifting accommodation 'flotel' 155 miles north-east of Peterhead yesterday after gale-force winds and high seas tore away the anchor of the platform, which is owned by the Amoco oil company.
The operation, the biggest single North Sea rig evacuation, took two attempts, atrocious weather cutting short the first.
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