When the two boys didn't come back home by their 10 p.m. curfew Wednesday night, their family knew something was wrong.
The two cousins never missed their curfew, so the family set out into the cold Newburgh, N.Y., night to search for them.
Around midnight, when the family's search came up empty, the entire eight-person shift from local police department and an off-duty bloodhound joined the search.
Around 2 a.m., with the temperature dipping just below freezing, an officer saw a shovel sticking out a mound of snow a few feet high across the street from where the boys lived.
He dug down and saw one of the boys' boots. The boys were alive but bitterly cold and suffering from exposure, said Sgt. Aaron Weaver with the Newburgh Police Department.
The boys' family, the officers and an ambulance crew dug them out with their bare hands and shovels.
The boys, ages 11 and 9, were taken to the hospital. The local CBS station reported Thursday night that both were recovering at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Family members said the boys were in good condition.
The boys told police they were making a fort behind a snow mound several feet tall at the edge of a parking lot when a snow plow clearing the lot pushed snow over them.
"Everything just aligned perfectly for a disaster," Weaver said. "It was the perfect storm. They just happened to be there when the guy happened to clear the lot. It could have been much worse."
Seven inches of snow fell on the town Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.