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Still recovering from Irma, Puerto Rico braces for Hurricane Maria

  • Hurricane Maria is expected to hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday with winds of up to 160 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
  • Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, R-Puerto Rico, told CNBC, "We are very concerned."
  • "We've got more than 500 shelters at this time, and we're asking people to move and be safe," she said.

Puerto Rico, still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Irma, is now bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

The Category 5 storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday with winds of up to 160 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"We are very concerned," Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, R-Puerto Rico, said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday.

"We've got more than 500 shelters at this time, and we're asking people to move and be safe. You can recover property, but you can never recover a life."

Meanwhile, there are still more than 70,000 people without power from Hurricane Irma, she said. When Irma grazed the island, it initially knocked out power to 1.5 million customers of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. The island's power plants were not severely damaged.

Gonzalez-Colon said she recently spoke with FEMA Director Brock Long about the situation.

"We were asking him to have more resources in terms of electrical teams that can help us out to solve the situation and recover the infrastructure of the power grid on the island. That is going to be the main issue," she said.

She said there is also concern about the potential of losing communication, as well as flooding from the heavy rains.

The government is trying to move people who live in wooden houses, she said.

"They're not going to be safe in those types of houses at this time."

If Maria retains its strength, it would be the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years, since a Category 4 storm swept the territory in 1932, Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. The last major hurricane to strike Puerto Rico directly was Georges, which made landfall there as a Category 3 storm in 1998, he said.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

WATCH: Puerto Rico braces for Hurricane Maria