Cleanup will be the job of the day for many property owners across central and northeastern Minnesota after violent storms rolled through Wednesday and unleashed strong winds and possibly a tornado that knocked down trees and power lines and damaged buildings.

A National Weather Service survey team will fan out to three northern Minnesota counties — Aitkin, Crow Wing and Carlton — to check out the damage and try to determine if any tornadoes touched down.

"We know there was damage," said Josh Sandstrom, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth. "We suspected there might have been one."

Videos circulating online captured what appeared to have been a tornado swirling in the skies near the town of Aitkin, which is about 20 miles north of Mille Lacs Lake. Sandstrom said teams will be out to get "the definitive answer."

What is known is that the storms knocked out power for thousands of people, though most had service restored by Thursday morning. About 1,000 customers remained in the dark in hard-hit Crow Wing County, said Sheriff Eric Klang.

A handful of others served by Lake Country Power and Minnesota Power in northeastern Minnesota remained offline Thursday morning.

The storms flipped a trailer near Crosby, overturned docks and boats, and sent large trees that "will be expensive to get rid of" crashing to the ground or into homes and buildings, Klang said.

"We have about a dozen homes with significant damage," the sheriff said, noting a swath of damage about a quarter-mile wide in the vicinity of Hwy. 6 and County Road 11 near Rabbit Lake. "A lot of people were scared. It was scary for about 40 seconds."

Other homes had minor damage, Klang said.

Severe weather largely missed the Twin Cities area, though hail 1 inch in diameter was reported in St. Francis, Zimmerman and Andover, the Weather Service said.