St Albans sinkhole evacuation centre: confusion, uncertainty and panic

County Councilor Richard Thake speaks to police in the sinkhole cordon

County Councilor Richard Thake speaks to police in the sinkhole cordon


There was a sense of panic and uncertainty at Batchwood Leisure Centre last week as those evacuated from houses in the proximity of the sinkhole were forced to make unexpected arrangements.

One lady, who declined to be named because of fears about the effect the sinkhole might have on the value of her property, said that she didn’t know where she was going to sleep.

She said: “We might be in a hotel, we might be at friends. They haven’t told us much.

“They might be putting us in a hotel in the shorter term – longer term, they said they might put us in a residential property.

“I’ve asked that it be somewhere decent because we live in a decent home. But I’m sure they’re doing their best, they’ve been very supportive and very helpful. It’s not their fault – it’s just one of those things.”

County council officers were heard booking rooms at various hotels in St Albans and telling those requiring travel to use one of its numerous taxi accounts.

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