A 20ft deep sink hole has suddenly appeared this morning under a quiet cul-de-sac.
The people living in 17 homes close to the site in Oatridge Gardens, Hemel Hempstead, have been evacuated as the hole, measuring approximately 35ft wide and 20ft deep, is investigated.
A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: " The hole, which is in a residential cul-de-sac, has mainly affected the road. However, 17 properties have been evacuated for the safety of residents in the area."
Police were told the sink hole had appeared in the road at 7.30am. Officers are at the scene.
Officials from Dacorum Borough Council, specialist structural engineers and utilities companies are also helping to assess the situation.