I knew a guy from Titusville that said in the early days of the Apollo program, they were blowing chunks of the launch pad great distances. I never knew if it was true.
I lived on Merritt Island and hadn't heard that but it could be true. Although the pads are on Merritt Island they're a lot closer to Titusville than the civilian half of MI.
When I was younger we lived in Huntsville where the Saturn V booster was designed and tested. The test pad was built into a massive vein of granite, just to be sure it didn't go anywhere, and they burned the things for the full 90 seconds. In an actual launch the thing is out of the atmosphere at 90 seconds but in Huntsville it was still there RUMBLING
away. Our fathers would pass the word around what time a test would occur and we'd go out in the yard and gaze in the general direction. Then someone would see an orange flame reaching up beyond the distant tree line and we'd watch for several seconds before the ground started shaking and watch for several more seconds before we began to hear the crackling roar. 90 seconds is a long time to stare at an orange flame a dozen or more miles away. It was kind of hypnotic and then all of a sudden the flame would disappear, then the ground would settle down, and finally the noise faded away.
That vein of granite had a downside, those that lived on the same vein often suffered broken windows. They (NASA) just added repair reimbursement to the budget.