BROOKLYN - The city's Department of Sanitation has issued a snow alert ahead of a wintry nor'easter.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city is taking the storm seriously, and all of its 365 salt spreaders are loaded and ready to go. He says there's concern that heavy winds gusts could bring down even more branches and trees.

Colder weather is also setting in while people remain without heat and power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Affected residents are being urged to get to a warming shelter, but only one will be open in The Bronx overnight at Lehman College on Bedford Park Boulevard.

All residents of low-lying waterfront areas are being urged to seek higher ground as soon as possible. Extra NYPD officers will be stationed in those areas.

All city parks, playgrounds and beaches will be shut down ahead of the storm and reopen at noon Thursday. FEMA mobile disaster center will also temporarily close until the nor'easter passes.