By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU – Thousands of people are without power Monday morning after powerful storms ripped through the Wausau area overnight, uprooting trees and downing power lines across the area.

An EF-1 tornado, spawned from a squall line early Monday morning, ripped through the town of Stettin, National Weather Service officials said. The tornado was 10 yards wide and produced winds up to 100 mph, downing more than 100 mature pine trees and damaging several homes.

As of 7:15 a.m., Wisconsin Public Service reported nearly 12,000 customers are without power across the state, with Wausau and Minocqua among the hardest hit areas.

Police and WPS officials are dealing with multiple reports of trees and power lines down throughout the area. Traffic was blocked on Grand Avenue for hours early Monday as crews worked to clear the roadway.

Restoring power to some parts of north central Wisconsin could take days, officials said.

WPS officials are warning residents not to touch downed wires. Power outages and downed wires can be reported by calling 1-800-450-7240.