NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mother Nature arrived on Sunday in the form of flurries. But what’s coming will pack quite a punch.

The snow started falling in Manhattan on Sunday evening as people walked on the sidewalk, some carrying bags of groceries in anticipation of being snowed in on Monday.

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“I just wanted to get some water and just kind of prepare for the storm,” said Dacia Waddell of Chelsea.

“I have my own business, so I think I’m going to close tomorrow,” added Vici Suviyanto of Chelsea.

Not long after, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in the city, which means starting at 6 a.m. only emergency and essential workers will be allowed on streets, CBS2’s Cory James reported.

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The following categories are exempt from the restrictions:

  • Public transit workers
  • First responders
  • Health care and home care workers
  • Police officers
  • Peace officers
  • Any other workers engaged in vital City services
  • Delivery of food, medical supplies, or fuel
  • News media
  • Hotel workers
  • Homeless shelter and outreach workers
  • Utility workers performing emergency repairs
  • Persons employed by pharmacies, grocery stores (including all food and beverage stores), convenience stores, bodegas, gas stations, laundromats, hotels, restaurants/bars, and hardware stores
  • Individuals seeking medical treatment or medical supplies
  • For-hire vehicles, used to transport persons employed to perform any of these services to and from their places of employment

On Saturday evening, New York City’s Department of Sanitation began preparation work on the roads. CBS2 shot video of a salt spreader truck treating streets.

By Sunday, James learned more than 700 of those vehicles are ready to roll out, along with 2,000 workers scheduled to work through the night. More than 500 miles of roadway has already been brined and pre-treated.

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“Our approach will be to take every route and every street slowly and methodically. We could see ground blizzards and whiteout conditions with some of the extreme winds and the rate of snowfall being as high as it is,” Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said.

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Because of that, de Blasio announced changes starting Monday for public schools, outdoor dining, and vaccine appointments.

“We’re rescheduling Monday appointments for vaccine. We’ll get them done as quickly as humanly possible,” de Blasio said. “We are not going to have in-person school. We will pivot to remote learning for all our students. The ‘Open Restaurants, Open Streets’ program, cancelled on Monday, protecting folks who are out on the street.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it is also keeping a close eye on the storm.

“We are looking to reduce some services that we can take all of our 60 foot articulated buses off the road,” MTA Bus Company and Senior VP for Buses Craig Cipriano said. “As well as chaining approximately 3,000 40-foot buses that will be out during the snowstorm. We will also be deploying 60 row trucks and tow trucks that will also be throughout the city so that we can keep buses moving, wherever we see we have issues.”

In addition, the Port Authority said the Midtown Bus Terminal will be open, but there will be no bus service.

Authorities are urging the public to stay home on Monday.

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Cory James