Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Something's wrong with these numbers

OK, So I'm kinda confused about something. The hurricane warning I saw for Ike insisted that Galveston residents faced "CERTAIN DEATH."* Somewhere between 20-50% of Galveston residents did not evacuate, or between 10,000 and 30,000 people. Rescuers have searched about 90% of Galveston and evacuated about another 1,500 people. The official death toll varies a bit, but is on the order of a dozen people.

So what happened to the other 8,500 - 28,500 people? Either I'm missing something, or these numbers just don't match up.

[*] Actually, the warning I saw said that residents "MAY FACE CERTAIN DEATH," which leaves open the possibility that they may not, making me wonder about what definition of "certain" was being used. Imminent natural disaster is no excuse for bad grammar.

3 comments:

moon-grrl said...

My workplace was questioning the "May Face Certian Death" line, too. My take is: it's the National Weather Service, people, they can't say *anything's* for sure. Even certain death.

David said...

Here's what I say: Going outside may result in certain death. Also, staying inside may result in certain death. I'm quite confident one or the other of those things will result in certain death.

Narc said...

Maybe so, David, but I think the odds of certain death while under the threat of an imminent hurricane are significantly greater than the odds of certain death in our current 75° weather.