DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County will be providing hotel rooms for Hurricane Laura evacuees rather than group shelters, Judge Clay Jenkins said Tuesday.

Laura became a hurricane Tuesday morning and is expected to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday over Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana as a powerful hurricane.

Hundreds of thousands of people have already been ordered to evacuate coastal areas in Texas and Louisiana.

Jenkins said he signed a disaster declaration Tuesday in order to provide those evacuees with hotel rooms in the Dallas area. Group shelters won’t be set up as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“I also signed today an emergency disaster declaration for purposes of setting up a system to provide hotel rooms to people displaced from the coming hurricane. The people coming to Dallas-Fort Worth will not be staying in group shelters rather they will be staying in hotel rooms,” Jenkins said on Twitter.

“.@DallasCountyTx and @CityOfDallas will front the money for this expense to be 100% reimbursed by the State of Texas. We train for these emergencies constantly and hurricanes and tropical storms are a part of life here in Texas,” he added.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also announced Tuesday that two evacuation centers would be opening in North Texas at the Mesquite Reception Center at 15515 E. I-20 in Mesquite and the Knights of Columbus Hall at 850 S. I-45 in Ennis (Ellis County).