The Rapid City Journal reports state officials as saying the impact will reach into millions of dollars. An official with the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association said some ranchers were putting their herd losses at 20 to 50 percent.

"I have never heard of anything like it," said Executive Director Silvia Christen. "And none of the ranchers I have talked to can remember anything like it."

Christen estimated that nearly 5 percent of the 1.5 million cattle in western South Dakota may have been wiped out by the storm.

Information from the National Weather Service on last week's blizzard was limited, due to the government shutdown. But the blizzard that hit Oct. 4-5 was dubbed a mega storm of record proportions for the Black Hills Region and Rapid City, with 19 inches falling on Oct. 4 alone - the third most ever in NWS records, and the snowiest October storm ever for the state. A total of 23.1 inches fell over a three-day period. end mark