The state in a news release Thursday night said an “estimated 500,000 Oregonians have been evacuated and that number continues to grow.”
That would be an astounding number, exceeding 10% of the state’s 4.2 million population. It’s so large, in fact, that it would be the equivalent of every single person living in Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Tualatin and West Linn.
But a newsroom analysis found far fewer people actually live in the Level 3 evacuation zones identified in state mapping for mandatory evacuations.
“I also understand how important these numbers are to the public," he said during a news conference. "We’ve got a lot of numbers associated with this disaster, and we’re committed to getting these numbers right. And we’re going to be working to ensure that every time we release numbers, those numbers are factual and confirmed.”
The state’s erroneous evacuation estimate had been plastered across national media Friday morning.
Speaking of viral numbers: