Disabled veteran needs help replacing bridge that often floods, trapping him at home

NASHVILLE, Ind. -- Flooding at the front of a disabled veteran's property often traps him inside his home, unable to get out for doctor's appointments or medical emergencies.

Steve Lowry's six-acre property in Brown County is an oasis where the Army and National Guard veteran can relax, play with his grand kids, and go to and from his duties as the commander of his local American Legion post.

When it rains, though, Lowry often can't go anywhere because the bridge over a creek at the front of his property floods.

"You can hear it. When it's roaring, you haven't got a chance (to get out), it's just too dangerous," Lowry said.

Lowry, who faces a number of medical issues, has tried to get out before but found himself in a scary situation.

"I got hit on the right hand wheel by a tree or something, and it started pushing me (into the water)," Lowry said.

A higher bridge would fix the problem, but it comes at a very high price tag. Some estimates Lowry has received reach into the $70,000 or $80,000 range. He's tried appealing to state officials, but has been told that the bridge is on private property, so it's his responsibility.

Last year, Lowry thought he found a solution: a company in Darlington, IN quoted him $34,000 to build a bridge with used materials, and a national non-profit called Purple Heart Homes agreed to put in $10,000 toward the cost. But before work started, the company fell on hard times and had to cancel the project.

"It was just such a disappointment that, you know, what do you do?" Lowry said.

Lowry's sister reached out to CBS4 Problem Solvers in the hopes that people in the community will have ideas or expertise to help get the project back on track. In the meantime, Lowry has already dealt with nearly a dozen flooding events this year and hopes the day doesn't come that an emergency hits while he's trapped in his home.

"When I was 30 or 40, I would’ve built the bridge myself," Lowry, who worked in construction, said. "It’s just a problem that needs to be solved and I can’t solve it myself. I’m too old, too disabled now, and need help."

If you have an idea or think you can help, contact CBS4 Problem Solvers at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.

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