The clean-up from Storm Eunice could cost more than £350m, it has been warned and thousands are still facing disruption from one of the worst weather systems in decades.
Hundreds of thousands of homes are still without power after the weather front tore through the country – and indications are the cost to get back to normal could exceed that of previous storms.
At least four people were killed in the UK and Ireland, with a wind speed of 122mph provisionally recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, which, if verified, would be the highest ever in England.
And travellers are warned to brace for continued disruption resulting from more wet and windy conditions to come over the weekend.
Sunday could see gales of up to 70mph in some parts of England, which is the same speed recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday when thousands watched planes struggling to land on YouTube channel Big Jet TV.
On Saturday, the Energy Networks Association said about 226,000 customers remained without power, while some 1.2 million had been reconnected.
Around 60,000 customers are still without power in the south of England, 58,000 in the South East, 55,000 in the South West, 35,000 in eastern England and about 15,000 in South Wales, it said.
At the height of the storm, planes struggled to land in high winds, the roof of the O2 Arena in London was damaged, and the spire of St Thomas Church in Wells, Somerset, crashed to the ground.
The Association of British Insurers has warned previous similar storms have cost around £360m in repairs.
A spokesperson said that while no two storms are the same, the last significant ones to hit the UK – Ciara and Dennis – led to insurers “paying out over £360m”.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind covering the entire southern coast and southwest Wales until 6pm on Saturday.
On Sunday, a yellow warning for wind is in place for England, Wales, and southwest Scotland, while a yellow rain warning covers Lancashire and Cumbria.
Meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said Eunice was one of the worst storms in decades.
“The 122mph statistic was a new provisional record for England in terms of wind gusts,” he said.
“But it’s also about how widespread the storm was, so we will be looking at whether this storm was worse than the Burns Night storm (in 1990), or the one in 1987 when gusts were around 80 to 90mph – but the damage may have been more widespread.”