St Albans sinkhole: ‘Keep calm and carry on’ attitude helps evacuated family

Jack and Harry Langford are among families evacuated from Fontmell Close in St Albans after the sink

Jack and Harry Langford are among families evacuated from Fontmell Close in St Albans after the sinkhole appeared. - Credit: Photo supplied

The practicality of safely evacuating youngsters from the site of a dangerous sinkhole has resulted in an impressive ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude among some of those affected, including a family of six.

Julie Langford, who lives in Fontmell Close with her partner and four children about 10 houses from the massive cavity, said: “Between 10.30-11pm on Wednesday night, I walked past the spot where the sinkhole appeared about two hours later – it makes you think!

“I’m glad there were no injuries; I think we are all very lucky. I got up at about 6am the next day, and noticed the power was cut, then I realised the water also wasn’t on.

“When I went outside a guy said to me, ‘I don’t think you’ll be going anywhere as there is a problem in your road’.”

When Julie saw the sinkhole, it was “a shock. I couldn’t believe the size of it. It was surreal.”

She praised police officers and firefighters for their support at the cul-de-sac.

Julie added: “The main negative for me is that we had to temporarily split up, as when we were evacuated to a hotel there was no family room, so two of my children had to stay with their father and the other two remained with me and my partner. But all the children are fine.”

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While Julie has joined other residents in criticising the county council for failing to act upon the hole sooner when it began appearing a week ago, she “trusts people are now doing a good job”.

And she has no regrets over living in the area, which she describes as “perfect to commute to and from. You can’t over-analyse it. I love where I live.”

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