FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth has joined Dallas County in issuing a disaster declaration in order to provide shelter for Hurricane Laura evacuees.

Mayor Betsy Price announced the declaration Tuesday afternoon and that it will be in effect for 60 days.

According to the city, the declaration will allow it to implement its emergency plan to help evacuees from areas affected by the oncoming hurricane.

Laura became a hurricane Tuesday morning and is expected to make landfall early Thursday morning over Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. Forecasts have Laura potentially landing as a major hurricane.

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

The city said evacuees will be sheltered at local hotels rather than a group shelter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he signed a disaster declaration Tuesday that will also allow evacuees to take shelter in local hotels.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also announced Tuesday that two evacuation centers are open 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).