Oceanside resident dies in Sandy's wake

Michelle Bracco, 44, died of carbon monoxide poisoning


According to the Nassau County Police Department, Michelle Bracco, 44, of Kresse Street in Oceanside, was found unconscious in her home on Nov. 5. 

Bracco, formally of Island Park, was transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m.

The Oceanside Fire Department responded to the scene and found a portable generator that was being used to power the home in the attached garage. Fire fighters detected high levels of carbon monoxide in the house.

In addition to Bracco’s death, Island Park Mayor James Ruzicka confirmed that at least four Island Park residents have died since the hurricane hit. Two drowned in flooding, he said, one died from heart failure and the other was killed by a preexisting condition. As of press time, the Nassau County Police Department could not verify the deaths.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, portable generators should never be used in indoor spaces such as garages, basements, porches, crawlspaces or sheds, or in partly enclosed spaces such as carports or breezeways. They should be operated outside and at least 25 feet away from the building.

According to the New York State Department of Health, carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer.” It can prevent the body from getting oxygen. Symptoms can be flu-like: nausea, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, sleepiness, weakness. In large amounts, carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness, brain damage, or death.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning: