A car passes Serenity Worthley, 11, as she holds a lemonade on Wednesday while tending her stand at her family’s house on Halifax Street in Winslow. Serenity is trying to stay cool as temperatures in the area hover around 90 degrees. Serenity, who cares for three cats, says she is donating half of the earnings from her stand to the Humane Society Waterville Area. Serenity, who opened her stand midway through the summer, says she has about $400 to donate. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

BOSTON — The heat that has gripped much of the nation seeped into New England on Friday, forcing some schools to close or send kids home early while powerful thunderstorms also swept through the region.

A Massachusetts man was killed early Friday and his fiancee was seriously injured when a tree fell on them during a storm while they were camping in Somerset, Vermont, police said. High winds downed down tree limbs and power lines across the region, leaving tens of thousands without power in Massachusetts and Maine.

The mayor of Boston declared a heat emergency with cooling centers opening around the city.

In Lowell, Massachusetts, where none of the 28 schools have air conditioning, all classes remained closed on Friday for safety reasons. The temperature was expected to reach a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with the humidity making it feel like 95 F.

Other schools in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were also closed or sent students home early – and curtailed after-school activities.

Electric fans were delivered to schools to help keep teachers and students comfortable as temperatures approached 90 F on Thursday in parts of New England. Most of the public schools in Boston have access to air conditioning, but the city would supply water and fans to the schools that need them, Mayor Michelle Wu said when she declared a heat emergency for Thursday and Friday.

Hot temperatures earlier in the week caused disruptions at schools from Michigan to Virginia, with some districts dismissing students early and others holding classes online. In the second week of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, the heat and humidity are pushing players to the limit. The Grand Slam tournament adopted a new policy on Tuesday to partially shut the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof in extreme conditions to offer some extra shade.

In Texas during another stretch of sizzling summer heat, the power grid manager on Thursday asked residents to cut their electricity use, a day after the system was pushed to the brink of outages for the first time since a deadly winter blackout in 2021.

Augusta set a record of 90 F on Thursday and Concord, New Hampshire, reached 93 F, said Sarah Thunberg, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Maine.

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