JERUSALEM (AP) _ Rain flooded northern Israel on Thursday after months of drought, destroying property and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

Israel television said 8 inches of rain fell on the Carmel region throughout the day.

In the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon, 59 workers from Korea and Romania were stranded on a pier after huge waves struck their houseboat, Israel's army radio said. While no one was injured, darkness and harsh weather suspended rescue efforts and the workers were to stay on the pier until dawn Friday.

By nightfall Thursday, the rain had mostly stopped and residents started to return home.