The Environment Agency says the greatest danger has now passed following the tidal surges in the last 24 hours.
Officials said in some places tidal heights were as high or higher than those seen during the 1953 floods but improved coastal defences meant the damage was far less significant.
Surges later today will be up to half a metre lower and there are still flood warnings in place, but there are no longer severe warnings in East Anglia.
Toby Wilson from the Environment Agency paid tribute to the job done by flood defences along the coast:
"Clearly for many communities who were impacted overnight it's been a devastating event.
"Our thoughts go out to those who have been evacuated, whose homes have been flooded, but it didn't have the impact of 1953 and I think that's a testament to the investment in flood defences."
Several homes by the sea in Hemsby in Norfolk have been destroyed by large waves.