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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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

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Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


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Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


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Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.