Storm Brendan lashed the coastlines around the north yesterday as waves swamped roads and crippled transport links.
Schools were closed, ferries cancelled and some islands largely cut-off with many roads too treacherous to venture onto.
Communities are preparing for further damage today with flood, wind and snow warnings all in place, with Sepa warning the threat of flooding may remain for much of the week, driven by continued high winds.
And amidst the worst of the weather yesterday, only the intervention of the emergency services prevented two people from coming to harm.
First came the rescue of a disorientated man in a remote part of Sutherland.
The man, believed to be in his 30s, was found in the midst of the moor at Achiltibuie in appalling conditions.
A postman, who is a member of the local coastguard rescue team, had spotted him in obvious difficulties at about 10.10am.
Stornoway Coastguard, which coordinated the rescue, said the man was showing obvious signs of hypothermia.
He was kept warm until he could be taken into the care of an ambulance crew.
Then Kyle Lifeboat came to the aid of a fisherman on Loch Duich who found himself in difficulty as he made his way to a fishing vessel by tender.
It was launched at about 11am and he was assisted safely ashore.
The Met Office had a weather warning in place for wind yesterday and issued another alert for snow and ice in the Highlands which will remain in place throughout today.
On the west coast, CalMac was forced to cancel all of its sailings by afternoon, while Northlink also cancelled its Pentland Firth route.
Further disruption is expected today.
Giant waves more than 25 feet feet high were recorded off the Outer Hebrides. The super-sized waves were nearly twice the height of a double decker bus.
They reached 25.6 feet at 1pm far off the Western Isles in the North Atlantic – recorded by a buoy called K5,which gathers data on the movement of the sea.
CalMac’s director of operations, Robert Morrison said: “Following a Met Office yellow warning for wind, covering the UK’s west coast, we expected Storm Brendan to cause significant disruption.
“While we managed to run some sailings in the morning of January 13, by the afternoon conditions had deteriorated so much that all 28 routes were cancelled.
“We are working hard to be in a position to restore services back to normal as quickly as possible when it is safe to do so.”
Every school in the Western Isles was closed – many in advance and others falling victim to the cancellation of bus services.
Children at three schools in Highland and one in Argyll and Bute also had a day off as a result of the conditions.
Much of the causeway network between islands was closed at high tide, at about 2pm.
The A83, between Tarbet and Campbeltown in Argyll, was closed for several hours at Ardrishaig where waves crashed onto the road bring rocks and boulders onto the carriageway.
Train services were disrupted by flooding on the tracks. Replacement buses were running both ways between Perth and Inverness.
Cromarty, Dornoch, Skye and Kessock bridges were closed to high-sided vehicles.
Highland Council was deploying sandbags throughout Lochaber yesterday afternoon as public agencies met to discuss and prepare for further flooding.