Queens, Brooklyn tornadoes confirmed

This photo provided by Joey Mure, shows a

This photo provided by Joey Mure, shows a storm cloud over the Breezy Point. The Associated Press reported just after 11:30 a.m. that firefighters were responding to a beachfront neighborhood in Queens after reports of a possible tornado strike. (September 8, 2012) (Credit: Joey Mure and Michael Abrams)

Tornadoes ripped through parts of Queens and Brooklyn Saturday, shattering glass, peeling roofs off beach cabanas and sending kayaks twirling into the air.

The first twister, with winds up to 85 mph, hit Breezy Point, Queens, at 10:58 a.m., sending people in the beachfront community on the Rockaway peninsula running for cover.

"It was a big black funnel," said Gregory Fillinger, 50, a 20-year resident.

Matt Schaffer, 18, a maintenance worker at Breezy Point Surf Club, a private beach club damaged by the tornado, said "it sounded like a freight train."

"I saw the Dumpsters picked up and go across parking lot," he said.

Seven minutes later, a more powerful twister pummeled the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. The National Weather Service said winds were up to 110 mph, damaging homes and felling trees.

The tornadoes -- confirmed by the weather service based on radar data, video and witness reports -- hit as part of a line of storms that were expected to bring damaging winds, hail, heavy rain and possibly more tornadoes throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

No serious injuries were reported as a result of either New York City twister, emergency officials said.

The weather service issued a tornado warning for Queens and Brooklyn about 10:40 a.m.

Christopher Miller, a spokesman for New York City's Office of Emergency Management, said the roof of a woman's home was torn off by the Canarsie tornado, where about a dozen trees were also uprooted. In Breezy Point, a couple of houses sustained minor structural damage, he said.

There were no tornadoes reported on Long Island, which was hit with strong gusts and heavy rain, but to be safe Nassau County activated its Emergency Operations Center in Bethpage.

Across the region:

Thousands were without power Saturday night in New Jersey because of severe thunderstorms.

The storms postponed U.S. Open tennis matches in Queens and forced the cancellation of an outdoor jazz festival in Albany.

In Buffalo, strong winds from a front of thunderstorms blew roofing off some buildings and sent bricks falling into the street.

The last tornado to touch down on Long Island was in Bohemia, on Aug. 10. In September 2010, tornadoes touched down in Brooklyn and central Queens, killing a Pennsylvania woman on the Grand Central Parkway.

"It's not every year, but I'm not going to say it's uncommon because we are going through a season change right now," Weather Service meteorologist John Stark said.

Drier, mild weather with temperatures in the 70s is expected Sunday and Monday. "It will definitely feel more fall-like after this," he said.

With Robert Brodsky, Matthew Chayes,

Candice Ruud and AP

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