Former Calgarian says New York City 'shut down' by storm

A former Calgarian now living in New York City says the massive snow storm that has hit the northeastern United States has shut down the city that never sleeps.

Rob Friedlander grew up in Calgary so is no stranger to extreme snow storms

Rob Friedlander, left, lived in Calgary between 1980 and 1998. He now lives and works in New York City (Submitted by Rob Friedlander)

A former Calgarian now living in New York City says the massive snow storm that has hit the northeastern United States has shut down the city that never sleeps.

Rob Friedlander grew up in Calgary, but he's been living in New York City since 2011. He now works in marketing.

He says the storm blanketing the Big Apple right now has effectively shut the city down.

"The mayor has issued a state of emergency so if you are not driving an emergency vehicle you cannot be on the road," Friedlander told CBC News in a phone interview Saturday.

"Most of the subways are closed so travel is hard unless you have the winter gear to prepare for it."

Friedlander says old friends have been ribbing him after he posted pictures on social media.

"I have been getting heckled all day by my friends in Calgary, having a laugh at everyone panicking around here," he said.

Friedlander says, while it's not that cold, the city has received about 60 centimeters of snow in the last 24 hours and it is still coming down.

"What I have been surprised by is just how much it is impacting the city," Friedlander said.

"We are just really not set up for extreme weather conditions. I was here during Sandy which was quite frightening, and now with two feet of snow the city is shut down."

He says it could be a good opportunity for a conversation about preparedness.

"Definitely something to take seriously and I think it is a call for us to get a little bit more prepared for the future."

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