Dam that’s cool!

The Weather Channel web site has an interesting article on “The World’s 20 Most Amazing Dams“. While reading their page about Hoover Dam, I came across this gem:

When its construction was authorized by Congress in 1928, the population of nearby Las Vegas – then a sleepy town of some 5,000 people – reportedly swelled by 10,000 to 20,000.

I’m not a math major, but If you have a sleepy town of 5,000 people and the population swells by 10,000 would you not end up with 15,000 people instead of 20,000? Am I missing something here or are they using broken calculators?

I know it’s easy to dismiss as a small error, but this is the Weather Channel. Numbers are kind of important there. If they’re getting basic mathematics wrong, how can I trust their climate model, which I presume has vastly more complicated math than simple addition.

I know part of my confusion is the editor in me. I haven’t been an editor for twenty years, but stuff like this still sticks out. And before you criticize me for calling out errors on other sites while maintaining a nice collection on my own: I don’t have an editor. I am writer, editor, chief bottle washer and janitor for this site, which is done in my spare time. What you see here are primarily first drafts that have had a light re-reading before hitting the “Publish” button.

And did I mention that I don’t have an editor? I would hope the Weather Channel does, but I’m not so sure.

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