(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South church group was stuck in New Mexico because of a winter weather blast that made a mess of the Southwest and is moving east.
Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of five states. Highways are shut down and the death toll is rising.
The winter weather trapped some members of Arlington's Lighthouse Baptist Church who were heading to Colorado for a ski trip.
Some roads in New Mexico are still closed because of the blizzard which dropped about 18 inches of snow in a matter of hours.
"You couldn't see three foot in front of your vehicle when it hit," said Pastor Greg Moffitt by phone.
Moffitt said he and his youth group of 18 people got trapped in that New Mexico blizzard, forced to spend the night in their cars on the expressway.
"We were going snow skiing in Salida, CO, and we were headed across there and it just started snowing a little bit and we said that's not too much so we were driving along and all of a sudden the blizzard hit," he said.
The next several hours were tense as the group watched its food and water almost run out. Moffit said all they could do was try to keep calm and pray.
"I just didn't know what to expect," said the pastor. "Of course, I had to realize too that the Lord would take care of us and protect us and we just needed to be calm."
Moffit said they used cell phones to communicate with loved ones back in the Mid-South. They also placed calls to Action News 5.
Early Tuesday morning, church members learned that National Guard troops were just hours away and working to rescue them.
Now the church members are safe and have an amazing story to tell.