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.

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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.

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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.

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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).