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Exhausted West Seneca woman rescued in Zoar Valley gorge

First responders spent about 2 1/2 hours Saturday night bringing a West Seneca woman to the surface after she said she was too exhausted after a day of hiking in the Zoar Valley gorge to climb back to the surface.

"The water level (in Cattaraugus Creek) had come up and they weren't able to go up the same way they came in," Gowanda Fire Chief Nick Crassi said.

His company's firefighters and Department of Environmental Conservation police responded at about 7:30 p.m. and rigged up a harness to haul the uninjured woman to the top of the 300-foot-deep gorge. The firefighters rappelled down the gorge wall to reach her.

The woman and her boyfriend were in their mid-20s and were rescued near Valentine Flats, Crassi said. He declined to release their names. Orchard Park and Eden firefighters also were called for backup.

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