These photos of North Carolina's '100-year flood' will stop you in your tracks.

Parts of North Carolina are underwater, thanks to Hurricane Matthew.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Over the weekend, Hurricane Matthew passed the coast of North Carolina. The storm has killed at least 1,000 people in Haiti and 22 in the United States. While hurricanes can be extremely damaging to the communities they hit, even farther away their effects are felt.


In North Carolina, Hurricane Matthew dumped as much as 18 inches of rain into rivers and streams already waterlogged from heavy September rainfall. The storm has since dissipated, but communities will be dealing with its effects for a long time.

Getty Images photographer Sean Rayford visited one community that was affected by the storm, and this is what he saw:

The town is Lumberton, North Carolina.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Lumberton is a small city of about 22,000 people in southern North Carolina. It's about 80 miles from the ocean.

The rivers in Lumberton are overflowing their banks.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Some of North Carolina's rivers are expected to reach record levels. The local Lumber River reached four feet above its previous record, and it's not expected to go down soon.

Water has flooded roads, homes, and parks.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

A lot of people have lost their properties altogether.

Those are cars. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Many major roads have been closed off as well.

Interstate 95. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Even the Interstate was closed down. Obama declared a state of emergency for the affected areas.

Meanwhile, residents have had to make do, like these folks boating over a front yard.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Lumberton has also lost power and running water.

Residents ride an ATV past emergency workers. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Lumberton isn't alone. The Guardian reported that nearly 1 million people were without power in North and South Carolina.

Boats and helicopters have been able to save a lot of people.

Rescue workers outside a house in Lumberton. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Rescue workers saved about 1,500 people throughout North Carolina by early Monday.

These rescue workers, for instance, helped get a resident and his pet to dry land.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Some people have compared it to Hurricane Floyd, which hit in 1999 and resulted in a "100-year flood."

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

The Guardian quoted Blake Griswold, who was watching a creek spill over its banks, as saying: "That was a 100-year flood. It's been 16 years, and we have another one."

This is important. 100-year storms might become more common in the future.

This flooded bridge has restricted traffic. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

Climate change may cause storms like Matthew to become stronger and more frequent, and to come with riskier storm surges. Instead of seeing a flood or storm like this once every hundred years, we might start seeing them every 15 to 20 years instead.

This flood begs a bigger question: Are we ready for more storms like this?

North Carolina's record flooding suggests we aren't.

We've all heard about climate change by now, so it's not like we don't know about it. But people often don't take action because we don't see how it'll benefit us; or we think that one person can't do very much; or we don't want to give up our lifestyles.

But honestly, there are a few super-easy things we can do. Most important, we can remember North Carolina this November and vote for congressional and presidential candidates who support carbon control or who will invest in infrastructure like dams and levees.

And the benefits? Well, for one, maybe we can push 100-year storms back closer to what they used to be.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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