Homes were evacuated and roads closed as flash flooding caused chaos in Exeter.
Police helped elderly and disabled people to safety after ground floor flats on the Burnthouse Lane estate were flooded on Thursday evening.
Longbrook Street, East Wonford Hill and Honiton Road in Exeter were closed after torrential rain at 19:00 BST.
Lightning hit a house in Mutley, Plymouth, sending masonry falling onto the street.
Fire crews attended 55 incidents due to flooding inside properties around Exeter and alarms operating because of the weather.
Ladysmith Infant School has been closed for the day because of flooding.
Sandra Down from Heavitree said it was the worst flooding she had seen for 30 years.
"I was fearing for my house," she said.
"The garden was flooded and the water was right up to the doorstep.
"We moved the car because it was up to the doors."