An angry storm yesterday smashed historic piers and expensive houses along the California coast, forced thousands to flee flooded homes, and killed more people, including a 3-year-old boy crushed in a mud slide.

The death toll for the series of storms, which began last weekend, rose to at least 19.

Forecasters said the worst appeared to be over. Scattered showers were expected today.

Waves up to 25 feet high were observed on some beaches yesterday. Five houses were destroyed in Malibu, including the home owned by tennis star Billie Jean King that was the subject of a palimony lawsuit.

Two dozen other houses were damaged. Elsewhere, about 30 homes along the Santa Barbara coast were destroyed or heavily damaged, and the city's harbor was closed.

Eight piers also were partially destroyed, including historic structures at Pismo Beach and Santa Monica.

The deaths included a 3-year-old boy who was trapped in a home on the south shore of Clear Lake, north of San Francisco, and crushed by tons of mud.

Three persons were incinerated when their vehicle spun out of a pool of water and crashed into a semi-trailer on Highway 111 south of Indio.

Nearly 5,000 people were evacuated in northern and central California because of rising rivers and flooded fields.

A rain-swollen reservoir spilled over its banks, forcing the evacuation of 4,500 people in Alviso, near San Jose.