President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way. All the big vaping brands - think Vuse, Blu and the king of them all, Juul - have 60 days to submit plans on how they'll curtail child vape enthusiasts, said Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, calling youth vaping an "epidemic".
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
Two other tropical storms - Isaac and Olivia - have also been in the vicinity this week, with the National Weather Service estimating that some 10.15 million people lived in areas under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings.
Overall, there are at least nine nuclear facilities within Florence's projected impact area. The destructive storm surge will occur as the hurricane's eye comes ashore from Thursday night into Friday, the Weather Channel said, and coastal flooding may persist through multiple high tide cycles into this weekend east of the center of Florence. "Everybody laughs at the fact that this storm got downgraded. but I've never seen tree devastation this bad."Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighborhood and making sure my neighbors are fine, because nobody can get in here".
Southeastern coastal North Carolina and far northeastern SC are expected to get pelted with 20 to 30 inches of rain, and some isolated spots may get up to 40 inches in 48 hours.
"In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again", he said.
Across several eastern states, residents scrambled to leave as the Category 4 storm, with winds of 225kmh, approached. Adding to the storm stress is uncertainty about where exactly Florence will make landfall, after a shift in its track put more of the Southeast in danger.
The town's public information officer Colleen Roberts told CNN that 150 more people were awaiting rescue, and that citizens were going out in their boats to help, despite swift currents.
Florence becomes hurricane; SE should prep for 'major hit'
And it would be the first major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) to hit the East Coast since Jeanne, which struck Florida in 2004. Florence's strongest winds were measuring 85 miles per hour , with a possible landfall as a major hurricane happening Thursday.
"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told reporters.
"We've had our lessons".
Yaser Hasan, general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville at Interstate 295, said Wednesday morning the hotel is fully booked through Saturday and inquiries continue from evacuees about room availability.
Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday yesterday as the town appeared to be emptying.
They not only are booking rooms, they are buying supplies for their return home. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled.
On Thursday the storm lost some wind speed and slowed its forward motion to around 9 knots as it approached the coast for a landfall Friday. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Most other beachgoers were long gone. "You feel like you should have already left".